See but I think the experience of being "mixed" is especially unique and "issue-laden" for those of us who were born into and brought up participating in two or three distinct cultures.

Society will expect such people to adopt an identity affiliated w/a single culture - they will try and fit you neatly into a particular box. And if you come from a bi or multi-cultural family but look racially ambiguous, this kind of thing happens: I had an Italian boyfriend as a teenager and we were madly in love. His mother opened her house to me and we got along just fine. Until. This one day his mother came to my house and met my (Afro-Caribbean) mother for the first time and she got all scared.

Suddenly she was playing match-maker, trying to find her son a new girlfriend. She was quite open about it. Before too long he broke up w/me. We were getting along great but he told me he'd fallen out of love, but I knew that wasn't true because as he said it, he was absolutely sobbing like someone had just killed his favorite pet. If both my parents had looked "mixed" or one was white and one was mixed (as she seemingly expected), that lady might not have been such a thorn in my ass. So I do think it matters what kind of "mixed" you are. Nor is everybody mixed. But yeah, many of us are.
Originally Posted by Korkscrew
^ This. I think that most people can point to some admixture (no matter how small) in their family tree. But I'm with Korkscrew, in that sometimes there are certain situations that a biracial/multiracial or racially ambiguous person experiences that most other people don't.

My mother is Jamaican but her father was white, so her identity has also been questioned. I dated an African American guy in high school and college and believe me, it was rough. I loved him but we had a lot of problems in the relationship. My mother didn't approve of him because he later turned out to be an abusive drug addict (which is a valid reason to not like somebody) and she didn't like how he treated me. She is also an old-school Caribbean mom, so she wanted me to find a nice Jamaican boy. The issue was more about culture than color. She wouldn't have minded me dating an American boy as long as he was kind, respectful, and smart.

My ex's family and friends made things VERY hard on me. His mother was kind of like the mother of Korkscrew's ex, but worse. She made it clear that she didn't like me and didn't want me to be with her son. There were lots of nasty comments about my light skin and a very hateful attitude in general. One of his aunts was even rude to my mother for no reason. The only difference is that they were dark-skinned AAs, while I was a very light-skinned girl who looked mostly white, so maybe the tension was caused by my color. I'm really not sure. But it was so confusing and hurtful. When I got pregnant once, she told him that the baby probably wasn't his, just because she hated me so much. She would also try to fix him up with girls behind my back. His grandmother even "weave-checked" me once, no lie. It was crazy. I would walk into the room, say hello to his female relatives, and I would receive evil stares and silence. Maybe I would get a cold greeting if I was lucky, or some b*tchy comment about my appearance. You could have cut the tension with a knife.

His father even went so far as to insinuate that I didn't want to be black and I thought I was better than them. It was upsetting, but hardly surprising because I've been through it before. We couldn't go anywhere without being stared at by people of all races. It made me feel hurt and angry because we were simply two people who cared about one another and I was mixed, not white. I might have looked white but I wasn't. Some people would openly harass us in public, especially me. I had women confronting me angrily because they thought I was a white girl or white Latina taking something away from them. And other people assumed that I was white trash involved with a Black guy...they had no idea that I was partly black myself. Some people have tried to give me a hard time because my husband is white, but to a lesser extent. I think it's because they see mixed women mostly dating/marrying Black men and it looks "uppity" to be involved with a white guy. I fell in love with my husband because he treated me like gold and yes, I will admit that it's nice to not be attacked anymore when I walk in public with him. Our skin matches pretty closely and there is none of that visual contrast that causes people to react. Some white women have made comments and glared at me but they're not as confrontational about it. Maybe if I were darker, people would be mad about it. I'm not sure.

Anyway, I know this is long-winded but this was just one of the experiences I've had as a racially ambiguous woman when it comes to relationships and dating. There have been more, but I won't bore y'all with the details.

My current in-laws have only met my mother and stepfather once. Oddly enough, they are white but much more accepting of me being mixed and looking the way I do. My stepfather is very dark-skinned and visibly black, but they were nice to him. They do have their prejudices but it isn't the spiteful, mean prejudice that I experienced from my ex's family. They're willing to learn about other people and they try to keep an open mind about stuff. They ask questions and they listen. That's what makes the difference.