Relationships and dating are topics that we just naturally gravitate towards because let’s be real, they can be pretty fun to talk about regardless of where you are in life. But on Project Voice, we can be both fun and serious at the same time - let’s talk about interracial dating, shall we! Once considered a taboo topic, the 101 of interracial dating has not been covered as often as it should be even now - online or offline. In this episode, I had the special opportunity to interview my friend Cleo Bergman and ask her about her thoughts on what it’s like to be with someone who grew up in a different world from her. We’re not going to lie, the dynamics of interracial dating can be tricky to navigate through but one key lesson that we've gained from exploring this topic is that communication will always be important, dating or no dating.
Cleo is a biracial (Asian and white), straight woman living in NYC with a Japanese mother and an American father. She hopes to pursue a career in writing or work in a chocolate factory.
TRANSCRIBED BY LORENE ESPINELI
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NGUYEN: Welcome to Project Voice! This is Jess and here I have Cleo! Woo! She is another Smithie that I got in touch with over Facebook, I think, our mutual friend Suzu connected me to her because she thought Cleo would be interested in participating my podcast series and I’m so happy that she’s here and excited to share her stories and her take on this week’s topic and that is on interracial relationships. Wooo! Ha. So love, and dating, relationships - we love to talk about all of that... now we’re going to get more specific and talk about touches something on the community or touches on people who think this really touches personal life or something that matters to them. We don’t really talk much about it, per say - I mean even in the media, you see a lot of couples who are two people from the same race but we don’t really talk about the diversity within relationships, especially intimate relationships because historically it’s been such a taboo topic, too. So, finally being able to bring up the topic comfortably at this time and age is cool! And yeah, I’m excited to hear what Cleo says so first I’m going to have her introduce herself to all of you guys.
CLEO BERGMAN: Well, thank you so much for having me, Jessica. My name is Cleo and I’m currently living in New York City. I graduated from Smith back in 2015 and I am working as a gallery assistant to my family’s art gallery in Chelsea, New York, so it’s both a blessing and a curse in disguise.
NGUYEN: That sounds really cool! I’m interested in knowing what got you interested in sharing your input on this topic. I’m pretty sure it does touch you personally...
NGUYEN: So, start off with that.
BERGMAN: On a personal level, I am biracial. I’m Asian and White, more specifically Japanese and a whole mix of England, Ireland, Germany, and all those fancy countries out there in Europe. My father is a White American and my mother is full blown Japanese born and raised in Japan and moved to New York in her late thirties where she met my father in New York and the rest is history. So, they both got married rather quickly when they had first met six months prior. Then, pretty soon after that they had my older brother who is two years older than me and then around the time my mother was forty, she had me. So, being biracial and being raised [by] an Asian mother and a White dad has been a norm in my life that has been both really good for me and also confusing at the same time. Good in the sense that I am very much blessed to be born and raised in an era where interracial relationships aren’t looked down… aren’t looked down [upon] as much as they had when my father was a child. In his lifetime, Loving vs. Virginia went down and finally, especially among Black and White couples; that was considered a taboo when he was growing up and when my mother was growing up even though she was in Japan at the time. So it’s just wild for me to think about that in context of where I am today because I am able to safely go through New York City being able to hold hands with anyone I want. Well, in this case, any guy I want because I’m a straight woman, straight Asian woman and so that has its own privileges and complexities when it comes to dating male… male guys. Wait, what?
BERGMAN: Well, there are guys who don’t identify as males so, there we go.
NGUYEN: You got to be specific about that. (LAUGHS)
BERGMAN: So, growing up under my parents, as I said before, it was normal to see my father and my mother in a loving relationship so that I think is why I started to think about interracial relationships in the context of just having a White male figure as the main love interest of your life with an Asian woman and that was kind of reinforced whenever you turned on the TV and you happened to see the one diverse couple thrown in there and it happens to be an Asian woman and a White guy thrown in there.
NGUYEN: He, yeah.
BERGMAN: I remember watching “Elementary” back [when I attended] Smith and I was really excited when there was Lucy Liu’s character Watson. Her mother was married to a White guy but it turned out that he was her step father. For a quick second, I thought that she was casted as a mixed race Asian character. But then you don’t ever see other biracial Asians that exist out there, like Black and Asian or Latino and Asian. You only ever see White and Asian couplings or offspring, essentially. So there’s definitely a bias that exists in our society towards that kind of specific coupling that I benefit from in a really bizarre way, that I try to think about as often as possible, especially since I’m in a relationship where my partner is a White male guy.
NGUYEN: Yeah, that was cool.
BERGAN: Hitting you on the head with the heavy stuff. (LAUGHS)
NGUYEN: You made some good starter points. I thought it was interesting that you brought up how a lot of times there’s not a enough media representation for mixed couples, interracial couples that don’t include a White partner. It’s usually there’s always someone who’s White and someone of another race. We actually touch upon it on in an interview that I just had yesterday, ha! And so that and I guess it’s interesting how there’s this huge stereotype that’s made out of Asian women going for the White men. We’re portrayed as “gold diggers,” we’re portrayed as individuals in a negative light when we are dating White men. People are already assuming that we are the ones who are gaining something.
NGUYEN: Like gaining so much more out of this relationship than the White guy. Like we are digging for gold...
NGUYEN: ...from this guy and we’re not capable of being self sufficient and so and so forth. This stereotype constantly gets perpetuated all over and we’re being despised by others just by dating a White guys, just you know.
BERGMAN: Right. Just by having an Asian body as women, most people assume that we’re not American and as a result, we get that status as the “green card/gold digging type” stereotype which is super ironic to think about my case in particular because I was born in America. I have dual citizenship because my mother is Japanese but right now I’m dating a guy who has been struggling to get a green card for over ten years because he’s been living in New York since he first came to study theater and business back in 2000. So he is… he’s not the gold digging/green type.
NGUYEN: That’s good to know!
BERGMAN: It’s great. It’s a healthy relationship. We’ve been together a little for over two years now. But it’s very…
BERGMAN: It’s such an interesting situation to look on an objective level because I’m essentially living this very opposite experience than my parents did. When my parents had met, as I said before, they got married very quickly like within six months after they started dating . At that time, my father, in particular, was getting a lot scrutiny from people he knew, in particular, who claimed that my mother was only marrying him for citizenship and for a green card. They were like, “You’re being fooled; don’t do this.” And now, luckily my friends aren’t giving me the same kind of warnings about this guy considering that we’ve been dating for a while but it’s one of those things that I definitely think about in a sense of where I stand with my privilege as an American citizen along with thinking about the privileges that he experiences as a White male. So, it’s really interesting to try to break things down and figure out what really defines our status in the world, especially as a couple and as individuals.
NGUYEN: Yeah, that makes me wonder since you’re very aware of the privileges and the complexities when you said: being an Asian women, being in a interracial relationship with a White man. Are you more aware or do you get self-conscious of these stereotypes that are being placed upon you? Or how your partner is treating you or whether you think certain behaviors are drawn out based on these stereotypes that we constantly encounter?
BERGMAN: Right, so in terms of whether I get self-conscious. I do get self-conscious when I’m walking down New York City holding hands with Alex, my boyfriend and we pass by at least three other couples who are also in uh… who are also paired off as the White guy/Asian girl. I should specify, its mostly East Asian women who are paired off with White guys or at least that’s how… that’s what I can tell from face value. It’s, it’s- when we talk about the stereotypes that Asian women face, it’s mostly the stereotypes that are portrayed through East Asian women because they are considered the ideal. We never really think about the South East Asian women-
NGUYEN: Or South Asian. Mhm
BERGMAN: - or the Asian women who are Black, Latina, etc.
NGUYEN: [The women] who have darker skin tones, really.
BERGMAN: Basically, yes. That’s a whole different level of shittyness that we have to divulge in.
BERMAN: But first to go back to your question about whether I feel self-conscious and those kinds of stereotypes and how that may be reflected into our relationship. I do think about that. I do think about what kind of image that I’m portraying by walking down the street with my tall White boyfriend.
BERGMAN: But at the same time, I understand that no matter what other people may think just by looking at us, they only know as much as they can tell from the surface level. And that’s literally just by the shade of our skin.
BERGMAN: They don't Know by looking at us that Alex is the one who is working his ass off to try to get a green card. They don't know that he's an immigrant.They don't know that I'm an American citizen they don't know if that I'm biracial. They don't know if Alex is a child of a refugee. They don’t know any of that just by looking. So, that's what kind of gets me through the insecurity is knowing that these personal details matter just as much.
NGUYEN: Yeah, you know what’s interesting is if you reverse the role… the gender, right?
NGUYEN: So, let's say an Asian man dating a White woman he's praised for dating someone who’s White.
NGUYEN: It boosts his masculinity. He's seeing more and as a man he feels validated as a man for dating a Western woman because an Asian man is constantly stereotyped as someone who is more emasculated... Who's not a man... Not a full man.
NGUYEN: That annoys me a lot and they complain about you know, not getting the girl. It's just messed up.
BERGMAN: It is very messed up because, because Asian men are constantly seeing Asian woman being swooped up, especially by White men. They constantly see them being the target of affection and being- to being almost like a goddess-like status when really all it is is exotification.
BERGMAN: And when they see that and they compare themselves to that and they feel like they are not as attractive or as manly which is really messed up and a unhealthy to think about.
NGUYEN: Yeah, maybe because she's White or he's Asian. It's just unhealthy in both type of relationships because women are the ones who are being objectified.
NGUYEN: And we're seen as a trophy... a trophy wife. Is that what they're called?
BERGMAN: Yes, and also were seen as “the safest option: of all the ethnic groups if you think about it. There was a… I think it was actually a Childish Gambino lyric that alluded to his attraction to Asian women and it was something along the lines of how Asian women are considered the safest nonpolitical option of the two.
BERGMAN: If you date a White woman, you’re making a statement. If you’re dating a Black woman, you’re making a statement. But if you’re dating an Asian woman, you’re being neutral.
NGUYEN: You know Asian women are seen as… or they're expected to be submissive, docile in the household and everyday life.
NGUYEN: But in bed they're supposed to be crazy.
BERGMAN: Sideways vaginas and everything.
NGUYEN: And that’s… again. The topic of yellow fever comes in…
BERGMAN: Oh, my goodness. Where do we even begin with that? (LAUGHS)
NGUYEN: We can really dedicate an episode on that.
BERGMAN: I do admit whenever I enter any kind of relationship with a guy who is White, whether it's a fling or something serious, that question is always brought up. I always asked within the first date or two, “What other women have you dated in the past?”
BERGMAN: Because then if there is a pattern, if they... any kind of mention of that I know to end it right then and there because I know they are not dating me for who I am but for what I symbolize as an Asian woman and I'm not here to be a symbol. I'm here to be a fucking human being.
BERGMAN: And that comes with the complexities of being Asian.
BERGMAN: But that doesn't have to define find me completely. And I don’t want that to define me completely, especially considering that I have the privileges that come with having a White father and a White name and growing up in a predominantly White neighborhood. Like those are things I experienced growing up that I can't deny ,but I also can't deny the experiences I've had having an Asian body and growing up with my mother who struggles with English and I can barely speak to back to her in Japanese. It's like these are very complex and real issues that I have but it shouldn't turn you on so much.
NGUYEN: As an Asian woman, when I'm on online dating apps, swiping through the candidates…
BERGMAN: Of course.
NGUYEN: I always swipe left on the White guys. Confession time. It's because of my deep fear of yellow fever.
BERGMAN: Yes. It’s a valid fear.
NGUYEN: It's just better safe than sorry because sometimes guys deny it. They just deny it.
BERGMAN: It's true… It's true; that's why I ask about the women they dated before instead of just outright asking, "Do you have yellow fever?" ‘Cause ofcourse they're going to say no. Of course not, because that sounds like a virus.
NGUYEN: It's made to sound like a virus. I mean, in a way I wouldn't want to be around that person if they had it.
BERGMAN: No, yeah. If it was a physical virus I would stay as far away as possible but this is more of a socio-political virus.
NGUYEN: That was funny. So in terms of dating, I just avoid that whole… just like to simplify everything and not make things complicated.
BERGMAN: ‘Cause I totally get that, too, because when you partner with someone who is of color it's almost like, that half the battle is done because there's some commonality there when it comes to experiencing the world and navigating the world or America, in particular, because we're Asian Americans. Navigating America as people of color, like that’s a commonality that you can't really share very easily with a White partner, let alone [with] a White male partner.
NGUYEN: That’s true. And the thing is with that it's just that growing up - we talked about this before, about with their parents or some of our parents out there, they are... You know, they have these racist sentiments towards certain people of color and for example, dating Black people is completely prohibited.
NGUYEN: A taboo topic.
BERGMAN: It’s so true.
NGUYEN: And our families are racist themselves.
BERGMAN: Mm-hmm. So in terms of that, growing up with a White dad and Asian mom -even though my dad was raised in New York, he was also raised in the 50s and 60s. So… the anti-Black sentiment is very real within my parents even though they may not admit it out loud. But my mother, for example, stated, I want to say this was around my first year of Smith, but I remember this comment very vividly because it both was funny and sad at the same time. She said the only Black boyfriend she'll ever approve of me dating is Obama.
BERGMAN: And that says so much because Obama is the most powerful man in the world and-.
NGUYEN: He's also not full Black either.
BERGMAN: Exactly! So it’s all sorts of fucked up because that means that for a Black person to be worthy of you, they have to climb to the top of the ladder which is all sorts of fucked up and totally unfair. We're not even going to dive into what my father says but it really does affect us growing up with those kind of sentiments in our parents and having that mentality and the reality when [we] start thinking about who you're dating and how that’s going to affect your relationship with your parents.
NGUYEN: Yeah, their behavior can affect us in two ways. The first being conditioning us. We're probably subconsciously internalizing racism against other people of color and trying to ally ourselves with White people. And the second is that they're actually physically forbidding us from interacting with Black Americans and Latino Americans and so that doesn't give us that much options either when it comes to who we associate with ourselves with and who we hang out with day to day. So, yeah. We don't have that much to start from and that's a good leeway mentioning our parents again. Like, seeing a how our parents' relationship affect our personal love life and I wanted to know, you touch a little bit about it before, but I wanted to know how your parents and your parents’ love life affected yours.
BERGMAN: Mm-hmm. Right, so I said in the beginning that it was normal for me to address my parents as the epitome of what a couple in love looks like because they've been married for over 26 years now. And of course, there is their share of fights and what not, but that was the model that I grew up with. And so, I believe that when you're... when you're fortunate to have parents who stay together and love each other as much, you want to model your own love life after them. So, I believe that subconsciously I do think that the... their racial roles really did influence my dating life, especially when I was a teenager. My first boyfriend was White. The boyfriend after that was White. Then, the boyfriend after that was White. Then the boyfriend after that was White. It took several boyfriends until I finally dated a man of color and I don't… It wasn't like as a teenager I was saying to myself, "I need to find me a White man like my dad." [LAUGHS] but I do think there was a subconscious… I wouldn't say belief but a subconscious influence seeing them everyday and seeing how they navigate the world and how the world accepts them as a couple that made me think this is the best option.
NGUYEN: You mentioned before that there were commonalities between your dad and your boyfriend now...
BERGMAN: Right. Yes. The main ones being obviously being that they're both men and they're both White.
NGUYEN: Really? (LAUGHS)
BERGMAN: Yeah, Such a surprise, right? (NGUYEN LAUGHS) And just like those factors alone, we understand that the way they walk around the world is a vastly different from the way my mother walks around the world or I walk around the world. And they're just afforded a lot more... not only a lot more privileges but a lot more... What's the word? Uh, help me out here. It's when you're kind of rewarded for the actions that you take.
BERGMAN: Yes, for their decisions. Affirmed for their decisions when it comes to dating women, especially women of color, they are not scrutinized as much as we are as Asian American women for dating.
NGUYEN: Yeah. They're praised for dating anyone. And if they're dating women of color it's like, "Wow, go you!"
BERGMAN: Yeah. Exactly. People see them as the epitome as what is open-minded. (LAUGHS)
NGUYEN: Yeah. (LAUGHS)
BERGMAN: Diversifying the world and oh, sowing their seeds, (LAUGHS)
NGUYEN: Sowing your seeds. There you go… That’s a better way [of saying it]...
BERGMAN: But I'm trying to think about a little bit more about more specific commonalities. Hold on, this may take me a little bit of time, just because even though I do remember mentioning that, I haven't really thought too much about that for some reason. Probably just because I just had this conversation with my boyfriend today, because I mentioned to him you know, there is the fact that you're a White guy... is... There's a bunch of things that you're able to take advantage of because of that but there are also ways that you're not able to take advantage of certain things because my dad is American and you're not.
BERGMAN: So, I think once that I start talking to him about that and he started telling me that he has been working really, really hard to make his dreams come true and get his green card status, so that way he doesn't have to worry about getting work visas all the time and worrying about if he's going to be able to make it through the country every time he leaves. Those are things I realized that my father has never experienced nor I. And that's what makes this relationship even more complex and... interesting for me because I'm constantly checking myself. It's really easy, it is very easy to see other people's privileges, but it's a whole different ball game altogether when you're looking at yourself. So being in a relationship with Alex, even though I can see all that he is able to gain from being a White guy, I'm also very humbly reminded about what I have and he doesn't just by being American.
BERGMAN: So, that kind of jumped around the question a little bit. I ended up talking about what they don't have in common.
NGUYEN: But that's still good to know, you know. Again, the important message behind this is that you can't assume a lot based on what you see. Every person has their own stories. Every relationship has their own narrative and different histories and that's what makes it so interesting. And like, um. Just two people from two different cultures regardless of what cultures, every relationship is going to be different.
BERGMAN: Right, It's so true because when we're talking about my relationship with Alex and my parents' relationship, we're talking specifically about the white and Asian narratives coming together.
BERGMAN: And of course there are plenty of interracial relationships narratives out there that we haven't even addressed or or because we don't have those narratives per first-hand, right? So, it's talking about interracial relationships that isn't a one-dimensional storyline because you don't know, like everyone has like you said- just like you said actually, everyone has a different perspective and history that adds to the complexity of interracial relationships. And the most important thing that I've learned from my parents’ relationship is the best way to overcome your differences is to communicate and understand each other because, of course, there's a lot of things that my parents still don't agree upon based on the way that they were both raised and they have very different lifestyles. My mother, being born and raised in the countryside of Japan, has always been stifled for independence, because there is no such thing as a young girl becoming the president of her class in high school and there was no such thing as a woman who wasn't married by the time she had graduated college. And there was no such thing as a woman who didn't have a child and was a happy housewife by the time she was 30. My mother completely went against all of that. Meanwhile, my father was living rather comfortably in New York City, growing up with a father who was a writer and a mother who was a chef and a model at one point in her life and was surrounded by artists and writers and went to art school and was celebrated for having his artistic endeavors. So, when you put these two people together, you don’t know what you’re going to get.
But you get someone like me who analyzes everything because I get to experience both worlds first hand not just due to their personal histories but because of their cultural histories as well, you know? Because there are certain number of American values that I uphold but then there are certain Japanese traditions that I hold very dear to my heart. And that wouldn’t have happened. I wouldn’t exist and this wouldn’t have even be a topic of conversation had it not been for my parents being the OG Yoko Ono/John Lennon.
NGUYEN: That’s funny. It's interesting because you get to see two different perspectives embodying two cultures or multiple cultures.
BERGMAN: Multiple. So many. Too many.
NGUYEN: You mentioned before how it's very important to communicate with your partner, especially if they're from a drastically different background from you. I also think it's important to call them out as well.
BERGMAN: Oh my God, yes.
NGUYEN: You know, call them out if you see something wrong or now that you were more aware of the dynamics in the relationship.
NGUYEN: It's important to just be upfront about it and that's what helps maintain that... maintain a healthy relationship and make sure nothing gets subconsciously internalized.
BERGMAN: Yes... yes, it's so true because no matter what kind of place you grew up in, we’ve all internalized something about ourselves, especially as Asian women... Asian American women, that's really, very damaging to our well-being. So when you bring that into a relationship that's kind of that's very... that could be very dangerous, especially if your partner doesn't knowledge certain things that may dehumanize you, whether that's fetishzing you or making fun of your accent if you weren't born in America and English wasn't your first language and things of that nature.
NGUYEN: Yeah or not treating you as an equal or doing things that are...
BERGMAN: Problematic. (LAUGHS)
NGUYEN: Problematic. There you go, yeah, and … So, my first question that I always ask in every episode is that what do you hope our audience take away from this episode?
BERGMAN: What do I hope that the audience will take away from this episode? I hope that the audience will consider interracial relationships as something that will always be in the works. As in, when you choose to be in an interracial relationship, it will be a constant effort of understanding each other and respecting each other because you do have to overcome certain problems or conversations that are uncomfortable that you may not normally have with someone who is a person of color
BERGMAN: Especially if you are in a interracial relationship with a White person. I'm speaking about that because that's the family I came from and that's the relationship that I'm in. Even when you're in an interracial relationship with someone who’s a person of color, there is still, there may still be cultural differences that you have to communicate and understand and respect. And because without that, without that underlying understanding and that underlying respect for one another, there is no relationship to go off of. So I think if you were to, if you were to be a brave soul, one of the brave Asian Americans out there who dives into a relationship with a White person, I think one of the first questions you should ask is: “Who have you dated in the past?”
BERGMAN: “What your thoughts on…” whatever it is that's important to you. Whether it's your certain cultural practices that you may hold dear to you... Maybe if you were to go so far as to talk about baby names. Maybe you can ask them about what do you about naming them Hiroko or whatever name that may be important to you and the language that you grew up with or that your parents may have raised you.
NGUYEN: Yeah. That actually... [I] wanted to just add to that something that I was reminded of is that... I remember having an interesting conversation with [a] friend of mine. She's a bit older than me and who's had a history of dating White men.
NGUYEN: And she's Asian. And so talking to her she asked me actually, "Did you know that your relationship with your father can affect your..." Let's say for her, her dad's Asian so her relationship with her dad impacted a lot of how, of who she chose to date in the future and how she perceived men from different races and for her. I think her she saw her dad as a very domineering figure, an intimidating powerful force that she couldn't fully take on and growing up. Maybe there were some difficulties in a relationship, too. So internalizing that, that aggression, that aggressive nature and that relationship, she automatically assumed or stereotyped Asian men as someone like her dad and so she dated White men instead. So I think that's interesting to see the reasoning behind who she [dated]. Again, like you said, looking back at your history.. Like, who you've dated and going back further, like what we did in this episode, like, why? Why did she make those decisions in her personal love life? So, yeah. I just wanted to add that. And my next question is that what are some resources and spaces that you think our community should look into for people in any type of interracial relationship. Unfortunately, I do want to say that I wish I could interview more people who are in relationships with people of color.
NGUYEN: Not just men of color but just people in color and general, of all genders
BERGMAN: We're starting from.. Um… What's it called... a base level of interracial relationships.
BERGMAN: This is the trial set in a way that you can like, go on...
BERGMAN: Yeah. I think it's very important for you to be able to find other people who are in an interracial relationships, not just with men but with other people of color and general of all genders and sexualities, races of course because, like I said before, I don't think there are any particular two interracial relationships that are similar, that are so similar, because everyone's narratives and histories are so different... so vastly different. Anyway, I interrupted.
NGUYEN: No... it was good. A good interruption. Yeah, I wish if I could interview all- everybody who wants to share their short stories about the their relationships, how unique it is. And I think it would take a whole podcast series not really an episode to dedicate...
BERGMAN: We just scratched the surface. Yeah. I am not a spokesperson for every person who's in a interracial relationship. I can only speak for my own personal experience but I do hope that this opens up conversations with other Asian American women who are interracial relationships regardless of whether their partners are White, male, people of color. And otherwise, so in terms of what resources that people can turn to or rely on. I honestly think it's your fellow people of color, fellow friends of color. In particular, even if they're not in interracial relationships just because they can provide you with a perspective that isn't biased because they're not the one sleeping with you.
BERGMAN: They are not the ones who are so ... are so in love with you but they are the ones who are able to objectively look into your relationship should you choose to ask for their opinions. And I do think they will always have your interest... your best interest at heart if you have the healthy friendships that every, every person deserves. But I think friends of color are particularly important because they are able to…
BERGMAN: …give you that emotional support that guides you. And that sounds very generic in a way but friends are a resource that is really invaluable that will hopefully, in a way. I didn't say that certain friendships are important than other romantic or sexual relationships.
NGUYEN: Oh, yeah.
BERGMAN: Because [friends] are always challenging you and and always reminding you of who you are and in some cases they may even remind you of how much you're growing or changing as a person. So yeah, that's about it.
NGUYEN: Yeah that's a really good resource out there. Your peers. Your peers of color. Your friends of color.
BERGMAN: If you're fortunate, I'd even say turning to your own parents, even though that might cause a little bit of controversy, especially if they may not understand everything that you're saying. But I'm fortunate enough to be able to talk more openly about being an interracial relationship with my mother. Maybe not so much with my dad. But with my mother in particular because she's also an Asian woman in an interracial relationship. (LAUGHS)
NGUYEN: True. You know deep down, what really matters in the end, as cheesy as it sounds, is that love is love and that's all that matters. And you know, if you really care about this person or if you're that person in the relationship with a partner who is not the same race, then it's important to try to understand where they're coming from.
NGUYEN: Yeah, because if you truly love that person… ha, it's going to take some effort.
BERGMAN: You're absolutely right. It will take a shit ton of effort to... I shouldn't curse so much. Sorry.
NGUYEN: It's okay!
BERGMAN: It will take a lot of effort to… really be on the same level of understanding especially when you come from two very, very different backgrounds. But the most important thing is that you're in a relationship not to give yourself a medal, but to be willing to be vulnerable and to become better people. That's why we engage in a relationships and friendships in the first place.
NGUYEN: That was beautiful. That was a great way to end this podcast episode. Thank you Cleo for taking your time out to share your amazing responses. Your story. It's wonderful, ha! I'm glad to have you on here.
BERGMAN: Jessica, it was a pleasure. It was a lot of fun and I hope that you'll be able to have more conversations with other Asian American women who are also in an interracial relationships.
NGUYEN: I hope so too! So if you're out there, hit me up! I'm available by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can tweet me @projectvoiceaaw or just message on our Facebook page. Yeah. Thank you all for listening. Tune in next time. Bye!
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