Gin & Zin

Interview with Shannon on Interracial Marriage

Meet Mama Shannon

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Describe yourself~

I am a busy stay at home mother of three kids ages eight, five, and one.  We have a packed schedule everyday between school, sports, tutoring, and chores.  I feel like a spinning top most of the time and sometimes wonder how I get through the day. I personally find that a pretty strict routine works for our family and home life. We love to be outside together and make it to the park for play time often. My husband keeps me grounded and sane, he works so hard to keep our family safe and taken care of. We have been together for 13 years now and we strive to try and make life easier for one another. I am passionate about cooking (especially when it’s for fun) and organizing, weird I know. My mind never stops thinking and I wonder what else I can give to myself, my family, and this world.

What is your biggest strength as a mom?

My biggest strength as a mom is my ability to multitask and prioritize the needs of each child. I try and give valuable time emotionally and physically every day to all three kids. Yes, this means that the dishes and laundry will forever be piled high most of the time.

What do you do when you’re away from your kiddos?

Considering I have at least one kid with me every second of every day, I will tell you how I would love to spend some time away from them. I dream about an hour massage, facial, and a mani/pedi. Heck I would also throw in a nice quiet dinner with my husband. My priority these days is to make this dream a reality.

Describe how you met your husband~

Thirteen years ago I met a man who swept me off my feet, he made me laugh like no one has before, he made me feel safe and I had felt like I had known him my entire life. I met my now husband, Marvin when I was just eighteen and he was twenty-five.  We had such a connection just moments after meeting even though we were seven years apart in age and came from two different worlds.  I was attracted to him physically at first sight and emotionally soon after dating.  The only thing I knew was that I began to fall in love quickly and that was perfectly welcomed by my soul.  I had no clue what this world had in store for us.

I am Hispanic and my husband is Black.  I was raised in a small town in Northern California and my husband was raised in Watts, in Southern California. We had been living two completely different lives and had opposite backgrounds for sure. I was not raised to see color especially because I am a product of a mixed couple.  I knew my Mom as Mom and Dad as Dad, I don’t even think I ever realized that in some people’s eyes, my parents shouldn’t have been together. I never thought deeply about the polar opposite skin, hair, and eye color that my parents had. Being in my own interracial partnership, I would soon find out that my perfect relationship wasn’t so perfect in most people’s eyes either.

Did your differing ethnicities cause any bumps in the road?

After a year of being in a long distance relationship I decided to move to Los Angeles, where Marvin and I would live together while we dated. What I didn’t understand was that every time we stepped out of our home; we would be glared at, talked about and simply not accepted. It felt like the world stopped when we would enter a restaurant, store, theater or anywhere else.  The feeling was gut wrenching and at first I felt a little intimidated. I was constantly building up our relationship to make people realize that we truly cared about each other and although I wasn’t the same race, I had nothing but respect and love for Marvin.

Quit a few of Marvin’s friends would ask him how he could date a “white girl,” not that they judged us but their families would never accept the relationship if they were in one with someone outside their own race. Thankfully, Marvin’s own family has welcomed me with open arms and quickly realized that I would do anything for him and love him like he deserved to be loved. Our bond is indestructible and it shows, which I truly believe has made outsiders and naysayers stop questioning us as a couple. Through the last thirteen years we have realized that we can’t worry about people’s opinions and judgments.

What are your wishes for your children after going through this?

I just wish that others would be more open minded and less ignorant. We know that what we have is special and truly love sees no color. We are strong in our beliefs and how we feel for one another. We are not out to change people’s minds about our marriage or relationship in general. At the end of the day we are stronger for had having to go through the questioning and non-supporters. Today we live to better ourselves and our three children’s lives. We hope that their lives are not full of questioning about their appearance and that they be welcomed within all their cultures. My worst fear for them is that they will grow up not being black, white or Mexican enough. Marvin and I will continue to protect them and work hard to keep them safe from the cruel society we live in.

Thank you for candidly sharing your love story, Shannon!

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