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It put me in a box, limiting me in ways I didn’t realize until recently.

In Rochester everyone appeared to me as clones, walking down school halls clad in American Eagle apparel with Aroma Joe’s coffee cups in hand, but at TU everything clicked.

Gay, bisexual, straight, transgender, black, white, Asian, it was there and it was beautiful. “I can’t believe you dumped me for a n*%$#@.” Telling your parents about your new boyfriend is hard enough when his skin is the same color as yours, but it becomes even more difficult when he is at the opposite end of the color spectrum as you.

Friends asked me what it was like dating someone who is black and giggled asking if it was true about “what they say about size.” One friend admitted “I could never date a black guy because I wouldn’t be able to understand what he was saying.” All stereotypes I had been used to hearing about this unchartered territory.

When my relationship eventually ended, the phrase “once you go black, you never go back” rang in my ears.

This was the place I was born and raised; where nobody had to whisper the “n word” or hesitate to stick some feathers in their hair and paint their skin red as a sign of school spirit.

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