Tabria Lee-Noonan has always felt a little bit different.
She is half black and half white, and she grew up in a predominantly white town outside of Seattle, where she certainly felt like she stood out.
“Half breed. Mulatto. Mutt,” she said. “Those are things you get called a lot.”
Today, she uses dating apps like Tinder and SoulSwipe, but the experiences are always mired in suspicion that men are seeing her as a mixed woman, some kind of exotic — and not just a woman. One message on Tinder compliments her “big, brown eyes,” and she laughs wryly.
“I can’t take this seriously,” she said.
That gut-reaction suspicion is one result of a lifetime of being told that you don’t fit in, that you are different. And not in a good way.
The first time Tabria felt like the object of a man’s fetish, she was a senior in high school.
Hear her story, as well as a conversation with New York Magazine’s Maureen O’Connor, in this episode of “Other: Mixed Race in America.”
Learn more about the other episodes here:
- Race is more than just black and white. This new podcast explores some of that middle ground.
- Why it can be hard to date as a multiracial person
- What happens to your cultural heritage when you marry someone of a different race?
- The long history and legacy of passing in America
- The debate over who counts as ‘American’ is nothing new. Just ask this woman who was put in an internment camp when she was 10.
- ‘That’s my story’: Heidi Durrow on why stories about multiracial identity just aren’t niche offerings
- How Ruth Ozeki renamed herself