Cam and Frankie
Frankie and Cam married in Alice Springs

Being heterosexual in a cisgender relationship brings its own challenges in a hetronormative society.

If you’re same-sex attracted, that adds an intersection, and some personal journeying even if you have the most supportive network around. If you’re from a different racial background, and added intersection of identities emerges.

How do same-sex interracial relationships navigate dating, family and issues of race?

Living in a society that has not always been tolerant towards those who are different, being same-sex attracted might mean overcoming internalised homophobia in a hetronormative society.

When you add the layer of being a person of colour, the person may need to overcome internalised racism, Combine that with being in a relationship, and you could get a whole lot of how do these intersecting identities play out in a relationship both with that person and their family.

Cam, a Filipino female is married to Frankie, a white Australian. Cam is a maths teacher, and Frankie is a doctor. I was honoured to be present at their wedding in Mparntwe (Alice Springs) and they kindly agreed to meet with me to have a chat.

How much does race come up in conversation?

A few times a week.

What does your family think?

Cam: My mum’s happy that I have married a doctor, someone that will provide for me. Glad she’s off my back.

I moved out because I was not sure how coming out would be accepted in my family. I got help from 2010, a service in Sydney. I invited my parents to come to my psychologist’s appointment and disclosed there.

I wrote a song called ‘Tell her’.  The chorus goes: So I guess that means I will be alone forever because I can’t bear to tell her that I am a lesbian.

Frankie: They were fine with me being gay. I came out in my mid-20s not that it was a hard environment to come out in.

Cam: Family Christmas with white people. I was asked to cook a Filipino dish. I don’t cook Filipino food as I left home when I was 20.

What do you wish people would stop asking you about your relationship?

Frankie: Where Cam’s from.

Cam: When are we going to have children?

Frankie: A lot of questions on biologically. How are we going to have children? Which uterus are we going to use?

How do you deal with conflicts that involve race?

Cam: Usually, what we’ve done so far is that I get angry and upset then have to find words. I know that Frankie does not mean to be from where she’s from. I know she tries to but sometimes she just gets it wrong.

Frankie: I inherently have power because I am white and so it is sometimes hard for Cam to speak up.

Knowing you are white, what are some of the ways in which you help Cam speak up?

Frankie: I try my best to never dismiss. I listen to Cam and her sister. Listening. Listening. Listening and trying to act on what I hear.

Frankie, have you read any articles about race to understand more?

Does having a really cool Instagram following of women of colour count? Studying gender and indignity at Uni helped me understanding power within relationships.

What advice would you give to other interracial same-sex couples?

Cam: Don’t settle for someone, who isn’t willing to try or not willing to be open to their white privilege or their whiteness. Someone who will be there for you.

Frankie: Listen to each other and that you’ve gotta do the work