Love isn’t black and white

Juniors+Bryce+Osborne+and+Gabbi+Morris+have+been+dating+for+over+a+year+and+three+months.+They+support+each+other+by+going+to+each+other%27s+lacrosse+and+golf+tournaments.

William Legrone

Juniors Bryce Osborne and Gabbi Morris have been dating for over a year and three months. They support each other by going to each other's lacrosse and golf tournaments.

Junior Gabbi Morris was speechless. A girl had just told her that she shouldn’t be dating her boyfriend, junior Bryce Osborne. But her reason why was what made Morris cringe.

“I had an African-American girl come to me and get mad at me because I was dating a mixed guy,” Morris said. “They say that I’m taking that away from them.”

Morris is white. Osborne’s late mother was black and his father is white. And sometimes people give the two a hard time about dating.

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The two first became friends when Osborne came over to Morris’s apartment to help her with her chemistry homework. They grew closer over the next few months and eventually started dating.

A year and three months later, far longer than most high school relationships, Morris and Osborne are still dating. But the two are a little bit different than most other couples at the school. They’re an interracial couple.

While some people, usually older men, stare at them when they go out on dates, Morris and Osborne don’t see each other differently at all. Osborne grew up in Chicago where he said that many people are more accepting of interracial relationships.

“Being down here is the first time I’ve ever had to deal with some people being uneasy about it,” Osborne said. “It’s pretty different, and sometimes I don’t know how to react to it. But I’m not saying it’s bad. It’s just different.”

Morris, on the other hand, grew up in a southern Baptist family. She knew that when she started dating Osborne her family might judge their relationship. Morris’s parents are divorced, and while it took her dad some time to accept it, her mom and grandmother were okay with the two dating.

The people of the same race as you think that you’re going against them if you date someone who is not the same race as what you are.”

— Bryce Osborne, 11

“[My mom is] very Democratic, very liberal, and she’s always been super accepting of anyone of any color, of any religion,” Morris said. “I think her being so Democratic helped me to stay away from the super racist kinds of things.”

The girl who told Morris she shouldn’t be dating Osborne is one of the instances that comes to mind as racist. Osborne said that people even treat dating someone from a different race as a sort of betrayal.

“[Sometimes] the people of the same race as you think that you’re going against them if you date someone who is not the same race as what you are,” Osborne said.

Some people think that Morris could do better than Osborne simply because he’s biracial. They judge her for her who she is dating based on his appearance, not on his personality.

“I think one of the things for me is that I do get judged personally as a white girl dating a black guy,” Morris said. “They think I have low standards.”

But Morris said that that’s not true at all. The way she sees it, she’s worth no less than Osborne, or vice versa.

“I would approach those people who would question Bryce and [say that] God says in the Bible that everyone is created equally,” Morris said. “That’s just what everyone should live by. He’s no more or less and his sins are no more or less than mine or yours.”

Osborne said that he learned a lot from his parents. His mother, who was black, was the most polite and well-mannered person he knew. He knows that often people will look at an African-American boy as if they’re troublemakers, but he said his parents made sure he and his siblings were raised to be the best people they could be despite the stereotypes set against them.

“There’s some [black] people out there that I shake my head at because of the way they act,” Osborne said. “I never acted that way. I don’t even know what it’s like, so that’s why me and Gabbi have gotten along from the get-go. It’s pretty much the same thing, just different color.”

Both said they feel like their relationship is stronger because they’ve managed to defy the stigma that sometimes comes with being an interracial couple. They use people’s negativity as a motivator to prove them wrong.

That’s kind of always been our little motivator, to prove people wrong.”

— Gabbi Morris, 11

“They might have a problem with it at first but they’re just going to have to learn. They’re going to have to get over it because it’s going to happen,” Osborne said. “It’s not just us that are dating.”

Morris said she thinks it’s sad that some people have to go through a learning phase to be able to accept things like her and Osborne’s relationship. But she said she feels that interracial couples have come a long way from 20 or 30 years ago. In fact, all of their friends think that the two are a great couple.

“He comes to my lacrosse games and everyone’s so jealous and says, ‘Aww, y’all are so cute,’” Morris said. “I go to his golf tournaments and the guys he’s playing with say, ‘Dude, she’s a keeper,’ because I always bring a cooler [for him].”

To them, being black or white doesn’t really matter. Sure, some people will judge them. But they know that they just have to make people see that they aren’t so different from a couple of the same race.

“That’s kind of always been our little motivator, to prove people wrong,” Morris said. “We always say that all the time. We’re going to prove these people wrong.”