My Biracial Partnership is Not Your Curiosity Petri Dish

Ashley Strahm
4 min readMar 10, 2022

The mystery of how our babies ‘will turn out’ is not enough of a reason to have them.

We’ve blended enough of our lives together; genes are simply not required.

Sure, sometimes I catch myself wondering. What would they be like if we did have them? These children that everyone keeps remarking that we have, that we’ll change our minds and give in to create — who will they turn out to be?

But those thoughts are typically about the things that matter: would they get all of my neurotic, anxiety-ridden attributes, or the beautiful, calm, introspective ones their father is blessed with? Would we have to navigate their proclivities for difficult, somewhat violent sports like their mother, or the refined culinary tastes of their father? Would they drive us absolutely insane with their curiosities, or would they inspire awe in us with their innocent wisdom?

Sure, I wonder if we’d have the next Barack Obama, but not because he’s biracial. Because he was president.

It’s so very hostile to hear the commentary when we walk hand in hand, Cody and I. I’m used to the glances, and sometimes, downright stares we elicited even when we first began dating. There is a sort of suspicious inquisitiveness even now, that I feel — from all genders, ages, and hues. I wonder how they got together, some of the eyes seem to say. I wonder what it is about her.

Sometimes people feel the need to roll down their windows and satisfy their curiosity, often flinging insults toward us amidst their questions. How could you sleep with our oppressor?! a Black man once spat. I could never, a Black woman once whispered.

And somehow, although different and yet equally undesirable, is the unsolicited advice that comes cloaked in a recurring ‘compliment.’

“You know, mixed babies are the cutest.”

It’s the assumption for me.

The assumption that we want children; that if Cody were Black, no compliment would be warranted; that our union would be less fulfilling if we didn’t capitalize on our differences to create something new; that our children should be brought into existence merely because of the chance that they might be seen as physically desirable (and by whose standards?!).

Ashley Strahm

Jersey roots, Durham fruit. Committed to justice, enthralled by stories, and inspired by an equitable future for us all.