For as far back as I remember, I fought for love. I wasn't particularly raised to accept everyone for who they are. I was never taught that race, religion, and differences didn't matter. I wasn't told to look at a person's heart, but I always have. It's truly something I was born with. I never felt uncomfortable around those who looked differently than me. I've always let my heart lead the way. I've dated men of all races and religions. I've taken advantage of this short life of mine by enjoying the company of anyone and everyone with a good soul. It wasn't easy, though.
To say that I wasn't raised to accept everyone for who they are is to put my childhood mildly. There have been racist undertones in my family. I'd like to say undertones because there have been many moments when I looked at certain family members and watched them stereotype individuals. Certain family members were a lot more direct with their feelings towards other races. I was forbidden from watching certain channels and from dating a boy who I was quite infatuated with. That didn't stop me. I specifically remember screaming at a relative because she said it isn't right to mix colors. I told her that I will love whoever I want to love and that color is only skin deep. I knew I was right. Nobody had my back. Nobody agreed with me, but I knew what I was saying was right. I knew it because it's what my heart taught me. It's what my experiences led me to believe.
You should always fight for your right to love. Nobody, not the government, not your mother, not your bestfriend, not your religious leader, NOBODY can tell you who to love! You can't even tell yourself who to love – it just happens. Love is the most natural thing we will ever experience in this lifetime. If there were rules on love then it wouldn't feel so good, so right, and so beautiful.
This brings me to my special announcement. I am attending a press conference this weekend (10.21-10.22) for the upcoming film Loving. This is the true story of the incredible Lovings family. This is the story of Virginia and Richard Loving, who was sentenced to a year in a Virginia prison for marrying each other. They were arrested because they were an interracial couple that married, which was illegal back in 1958. It was because of them that interracial marriage was legalized in America. This is a film and story that really touches my heart. My heart is filled with sadness because this couple had to experience these hardships, but filled with so much pride that they fought so hard for their beliefs!
If it weren't for this couple, I couldn't be with the one I love. I am a white woman, with a Dominican man, which would have definitely been frowned upon less than 60 years ago. The sad truth is that our nation still isn't as accepting as it should be. I still get funny looks, but not from my family. My family has come along way with their beliefs and I'd like to think that fighting for my right to love had a little something to do with that. If you can change one person's heart, then you can change the world! Fight for your right to love! Fight for your beliefs. Don't be silent if you see someone being mistreated! We need more people like the Lovings. We need you to fight.
More about the press conference
I will be flying from Florida to California on 10/21 and the next morning I will be seeing an advance screening of Focus Features' film, Loving. After screening the film (and wiping all of my tears) I will be interviewing the Writer/Director Jeff Nichols and Actors Joel Edgerton (Richard Loving) & Ruth Negga (Virginia Loving).
Follow along using: #ThisIsLoving
Submit questions in the comments section below
In theaters, November 4 2016
From acclaimed writer/director Jeff Nichols (“Take Shelter,” “Mud,” “Midnight Special”), LOVING celebrates the real-life courage and commitment of an interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving (Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga), who married and then spent the next nine years fighting for the right to live as a family in their hometown. Their civil rights case, Loving v. Virginia, went all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 reaffirmed the very foundation of the right to marry – and their love story has become an inspiration to couples ever since.
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