Asian Parents Forbidding Interracial Relationships
I am a 16-year-old Asian female living in the US. My parents were born in Vietnam and moved here about 30 years ago.
A month ago, I decided to tell my parents the truth: I have a boyfriend.
My boyfriend is black and we've been in a strong relationship for 4 months, but we've been close friends for about 3 years. (My parents have met him and talked to him briefly before when we were just friends.) I had hidden my love life from my parents until that confession because I knew they would not accept any boyfriend I had, simply because they don't want me to date until college. When I told them, of course they didn't approve. They refused to accept our relationship and they refused to let me go out anywhere with him. My boyfriend's mom knows about our relationship and is painfully aware that "asian people dislike black people," so she has suggested that my boyfriend move on because it's not morally right to go against my parents' wishes. My boyfriend agrees with his mom, but has promised he won't leave me for this.
I have had two serious talks with my parents about this relationship. I asked them why they wouldn't let me go out with him. My mom said that I'm too young to be in a relationship and too young to get so emotionally involved with someone. She said a lot about "my pride" as a girl (which basically means don't get pregnant) and how "American boys are wild" and will "do crazy things when they get bored." I told her calmly that I think I am mature and responsible enough at this age to handle a relationship, and that I know that I have to be careful and protect myself......but she stuck to her argument that I am too young and naive and American boys are reckless. Then my dad said that it is impossible to concentrate on both my studies and a relationship at the same time, and that in college, I could either focus on academics or go live with my relationship (threat of disowning me?). I replied that I am still responsible in my studies: I have maintained a perfect GPA for the last 6 years, my SAT scores are very good, and I plan on going to a good college for at least a bachelor's degree. My dad replied that those are empty words and that he knows I won't be able to concentrate on my education if I'm in a relationship. The second talk I had with just my mom. I tried to tell her that this relationship isn't as serious business as she thinks and that all I wanted was to be able to go to a movie or to the park with my boyfriend every once in a while. She refused. She said that going to the movies with only him means that we're more than just friends, and that that is too much involvement for me. Then she said "Also, we'd prefer Asian...Our family, we don't want dark-skinned blood.......Spanish, black, jewish, we won't accept into our family." I asked about my brother's girlfriend, who is Jewish (and they accept her perfectly fine). My mom said "But your brother's older than 21. He can do whatever he wants to do and make his own decisions." ......Is it just me or did that argument make no sense? I asked her if she was worrying because she did not trust my boyfriend. I told her that my boyfriend's mom wants to talk to her and that she should talk to my boyfriend to know that they are good, responsible people too. My mom refused, saying that there's no need to talk to either of them because my relationship isn't serious/real. At some point, she said "You can survive without him, right?" and I said "My face would look like this all the time." My face was streaked with tears. My mom said that that just means I'm already too involved with my boyfriend emotionally and that I should be pulled out immediately. Then my mom went on to talk about how my family loves me and how much my parents do for me. She questioned whether I was happy in this family, and whether I was foolishly looking for happiness and love in a relationship because I didn't get enough at home. I told her I am happy in this family and I realize all that she has done for me. She continued talking about how hard she has worked and started tearing up herself. I decided to stop pushing the argument at that point, but it left me with no hope that my parents would ever change their mind or even compromise with me.
Since I don't want to make my parents even more upset with me, I doubt I will argue my case again. My mom has always said "No relationships until college" and that "When you're 21 you can be free and make your own decisions." I'll be graduating high school in 5 months and out in college in 8 months, but my parents still claim reign over me since I'll be coming back home during breaks and since they'll be paying for most of my college tuition. This whole situation has left me and my boyfriend stuck between a rock and a hard place. We both love each other and have faith that our relationship could last a long time, but we don't have many options now. The options I'm considering now are to either stay together and tell my parents we're just friends again, or split for now and wait for each other until college. Both options come with a large amount of stress. For the first, it'll be difficult to keep it a secret because my parents are suspicious that I will lie to them, not to mention it's still a moral dilemma. My boyfriend's parents will still know about our relationship, which will make it more likely that my parents will see past the lie. For the second option, we will still see each other every day at school and still know that we love each other; it'd cause quite a bit of heartache to be that close and yet not be together. It'd also take a lot of commitment, hope, and faith from both of us.
I'm still discussing our options with my boyfriend, but it's all very stressing.
My friends agree that my parents are being ridiculous and that they have very little sympathy for me.
What an unfortunate situation this is....