Community Corner: Actress Diane Farr On Today’s Interracial Relationships
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Actress Diane Farr known for her television roles in Rescue Me, Numb3rs, and Loveline is also a columnist and author and just released her new book titled Kissing Outside the Lines: A True Story of Love and Race and Happily Ever After.
In Kissing Outside the Lines, she interviews various interracial couples, discusses race relations in America, and also shares her personal experiences with prejudice in her own marriage.
Farr came to the KCBS studio in San Francisco to discuss her new book with KCBS’ Connie C. Kim.
With the growing multiracial and multiethnic population in America, it may be surprising that we’re still talking about prejudice and discrimination in interracial relationships today.
Diane Farr said through her new book she was trying to address that hidden conversation within homes where children may be taught the golden rule and to treat everyone the same, until the moment they hit puberty and start dating; and then they find the rules slightly change to say ‘but you can’t love one of them’ (meaning someone outside their race).
She hopes for a “post-racial America” where Americans are less racially minded – she just believes we’re not quite there yet.
“We have a little bit more progress to do in private,” Farr explains.
“I think the reasons are fair and it’s less about prejudice and more about the fear of the death of culture.”
Some interesting interracial relationships she features in her book include a Jewish woman and a man from Trinidad, where they had musicians on Caribbean drums playing a Hebrew song at their wedding; and a white evangelical Christian woman and Hindi man who had a traditional Indian wedding in Virginia complete with a traditional fire that they had to circle around – in 100 plus degree weather.
Wedding lovers will enjoy the many cultural weddings and customs described in the book.
Farr also details her own traditional Korean ceremony she had, in addition to a Western wedding, in honor of her husband Seung’s background.
She learned all the customs and details of a Korean wedding ceremony from bowing to catching dates in her traditional silk dress and even memorized an entire speech in Korean to present to her in-laws at the wedding reception.
But she had the painful experience of her husband’s relatives refusing to attend her wedding because they didn’t approve of the union. Through that experience she learned that the best thing to do was to let go and just focus on her marriage and her immediate family and not constantly worry about pleasing others.
“The work you have done to support Seung is kind and thoughtful and earnest but you have to let it go now – and just be who you and he are supposed to be as a couple. The rest of the world will have to adjust to you now; not the other way around anymore,” her friend Suzanne is quoted in the book with these words of wisdom.
Farr believes the responsibility really lies in the people who are in interracial relationships to educate others. But at the end of the day, you can only affect behavior and you can’t change a person’s heart or ‘fix’ their opinion.
Her message to her readers is that no matter what challenges you may face in your relationship, you’re going to be ok – it’s about choices and how to stand up for what you want.
Besides the issue of race, Farr says readers may also enjoy funny stories (at her expense) as she juggles planning a three-day destination wedding in between filming television shows and interviewing couples.
Kissing Outside the Lines is a fun read not just for those in interracial relationships but anyone who wants to learn more about the couples in their community and have a good laugh.
Watch a trailer for her new book
(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)