“They’d look at us and do this subtle head shake thing.
It always felt like they were trying to say I was betraying my culture and religion by choosing to be with someone outside of it.” She knew that's what they were thinking because that’s how her extended family felt about him - and they'd give her the same disapproving looks.
Other friends tell me they don’t even bother telling their relatives about new partners if they’re not the same race.
For many interracial couples, this is perfectly normal. We expect the jokes about how our skin colours (mine brown; his freckled) look different on the beach.
We know people will be curious about how our families feel about it (absolutely fine). But when that veers into nasty looks, comments or even outright abuse, it becomes something no couple should have to deal with. It’s plain racist and it’s time Britain outgrew it once and for all.
The Big Short, the film adaptation of Michael Lewis' book of the same name about the causes of the financial crisis, opens in UK cinemas this weekend.
Until the news came out that he’d reportedly proposed to his singer girlfriend. I had my first taste of this racism – because that’s what it is, no matter how subtly or politely it’s disclosed – when I was 18. It was delivered in a jokey way and we laughed it off, but there was always that sense that being with someone of the same race was the "right" thing to do. Seven years on and I still have problems with my current boyfriend, a white New Zealander.
She recently told Sunday Times Magazine that when her relationship with Pattinson became public, she started receiving abuse. Legions of Twilight fans would send her racist messages, calling her “monkey” – and they’re still going. It’s depressing that, in 2015, people can still have a problem with interracial couples. It’s something I’ve experienced personally as a British Indian.
But it’s nothing compared to what Twigs was directly subjected to.I went on a double date with my female Jewish friend. Obviously we're not subjected to online abuse from gossip sites (being that we're not in any Hollywood film franchises, or performing at Glastonbury).My partner for the evening was a white, Jewish guy. But we do get "looks" when we're walking down the street together - especially when we leave London. Much of the time it seems to be confusion and uncertainty ("are they even allowed to date in her culture? Unlike me he's never had to develop a "racism radar", where you instinctively know that people are staring because of your skin colour. Lots of my black and ethnic minority (BAME) friends, who date white people, tell me the same thing. I know of one couple – a black man and white woman – who’ve had much worse experiences.Her middle-class British family often make racist remarks about his skin colour ("didn’t see you there in the dark – you should have smiled").On holiday in Europe, waiters have rudely ignored him and only spoken to his girlfriend.But such racism doesn’t just come from white people trying to process the fact that someone might want to date outside their race. An Indian girlfriend of mine, whose ex was white, tells me that when they used to walk around in London, holding hands, other Indians would stare.