Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Janet Grigsby




relationships, comfort, interracial, black, community


Interracial relationships have been a historically painful issue in America. Even today, interracial relationships are still not accepted into mainstream society, and couples involved in these relationships usually report discomfort attributable to the racial nature of their relationship. Although much research has examined interracial relationships among heterosexual couples, little research has looked at the experiences and comfort of homosexual interracial couples. This study hypothesizes that homosexual relationships experience a relatively higher level of comfort in their gay community because homosexuals may empathize more strongly with other stigmatized relationships. In-depth interviews were conducted with 5 gay and 4 straight black men involved in interracial relationships with white partners. The results were qualitatively analyzed to determine which group experienced more comfort and less harassment during their relationship. Results indicated that both groups experienced a similar level of harassment. It was also found that gay black men tended to prefer dating interracially, while straight black men tended to prefer dating within the same race. It was also discovered that sexual orientation of the community has less of an effect on experiences of comfort for individuals involved in interracial relationships than originally predicted. The racial community that the individual is more closely associated with had a significant impact on comfort level. Subjects who had close friends of the same race as their partner reported more comfort than those who had close friends of their own race.