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Throughout the three months that they have been dating, Carroll and Yen say that they have never felt singled out or looked down upon because of their relationship.
If anything, they note that their genders may draw more attention than their ethnicities do. “I think the biggest deal is people thought it was cool that he was British, but that was it.” According to Shang, one challenge that Asian women at Harvard do face is the perception that some men have an “Asian fetish.” “It’s really hard to tell if the guy that’s hitting on you is actually hitting on you because he likes you…or because he just has a thing for Asians,” she says.
Several other couples that represent many other ethnicities were also invited to participate but declined to do so. Carroll ’17, a Kirkland resident who is white, and Stephen S.
The couple says they sense that most of the disapproval of their relationship has come from Harvard’s black community.
“Dami has had some situations where he felt flak from both black women and black men, because it’s the whole concept of, African Americans have this obligation to rebuild the African American family, and how’s that going to happen if they’re not marrying each other? They have also noticed that students in the black community who do support them are uncomfortable expressing their approval of interracial dating around other black students.
One couple met through a mutual friend at the end of freshman year. One couple met through a mutual friend at the end of freshman year. Though these three couples are alike in that they include students of different races, they paint vastly different portraits of interracial dating at Harvard.
So began the relationships of three couples at Harvard, all of which are interracial. So began the relationships of three couples at Harvard, all of which are interracial.
This article does not and cannot canvass the experiences of all interracial couples who have dated at Harvard.
Rather, it presents the views of three couples who agreed to discuss their stories and to add to the conversation.