(Illustration by Chris Kindred for The Washington Post)

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.”

New episodes of “Other: Mixed Race in America” will publish every day for a week, starting May 1. Subscribe to the series on Apple Podcasts or RadioPublic.

Read a transcript of this episode here. 

LISTEN:

Learn more about the other episodes here:

  1. Race is more than just black and white. This new podcast explores some of that middle ground. 
  2. Why it can be hard to date as a multiracial person
  3. What happens to your cultural heritage when you marry someone of a different race?
  4. The long history and legacy of passing in America
  5. 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.
  6. ‘That’s my story’: Heidi Durrow on why stories about multiracial identity just aren’t niche offerings
  7. How Ruth Ozeki renamed herself