I almost overlooked my husband. Actually, I did overlook and dismiss my husband upon meeting him. When I saw him, I thought, “Maybe I’ll marry that guy.” Immediately I corrected myself, “No, he is Mormon, and he is white.” I’m a convert, and based on the things I learned and behavior I observed, I thought good Mormons did not marry people outside of their race. Translation: Good Mormons only married other good Mormons who were also white. My fear of never being able to marry in this life is one of the reasons I left the Church when I was 17. Based on the things I was taught in church, I believed and was told that it was unlikely that I would get married before I reached the Celestial Kingdom. That is the last thing a hormonal teen wants to be told.
White is the epitome of righteousness and purity throughout Mormon culture. It is no wonder that that same ideal is perpetuated in our relationships with one another. We are part of a religion that believes that righteousness can be manifested physically through one’s appearance.
The cultural teachings and practices of the Church in the Mormon Corridor coupled with my own race based self-hatred greatly impacted my short-lived dating life, decision to marry, and sex life.I learned when I was young that being a good Mormon meant emulating whiteness and setting aside blackness.
If I really wanted to be righteous, I was going to have to marry and that meant marrying white.
If you want to hear more about how the cultural and doctrinal practices of the Church have impacted WoC’s personal and sexual relationships, come to the FEMWOC panel in the Crimson View room on July 31, 2015 at 3:45 PM.