They began seeing each other five years ago, but only recently decided to introduce each other to their families.In a recent interview with The Trauma & Mental Health Report, Arlene and Kay shared with us the challenges of being an interracial couple and how they overcame various obstacles. A: Kay: Sometimes I feel like I have to have eyes at the back of my head just to make sure that family or family friends aren’t around while I’m with Arlene.When people would stare, it made me feel like we were doing something wrong.It was discouraging, I knew I wanted to be with Kay, but it was so hard to stay positive.They may experience opposition and resistance from family, community, and even strangers, yet many find ways to overcome these obstacles.When Arlene, a Filipino-Canadian woman, and Kay, a Tamil-Canadian man, entered into a relationship, they understood it would not be easy being an interracial couple.We are happy together and that’s what is important.Q: What’s the hardest part about being a mixed-race couple?
In Canada, most of these couples are Canadian-born (as opposed to foreign-born).
A: Arlene: I sometimes wonder how our families will come together, and if they will get along.
If I was with her around my family, I would be judged for not having a Tamil girlfriend.
Arlene: In the beginning of our relationship, we used to get a lot of stares and see people whispering, and it used to bother me.
I used to feel ashamed of our relationship to the point that I would feel uncomfortable holding Kay’s hand in front of people who I thought would judge us.
Eventually, I had to realize that other people’s opinions about us don’t matter.