Interview with Kate and Gil

We haven’t done an #interview since July, but they are always our most popular features and our race series got such popular reviews, I thought for the last in this series, we’d chat with an interracial couple that had met abroad, lived in the States, is overseas and will eventually return to the States!

Just in case you missed the first two articles in this series on #race, you can check them out here. My Personal Race Journey; Navigating Race as an Intercultural Couple.

I’d like to introduce you to Gil and Kate. Gil and Kate met in 2003 in Kampala, Uganda, when Kate was volunteering at a chimpanzee sanctuary (too cool!) and Gil was on the national Ugandan rugby team. Kate was in Uganda for two years; towards the end of her time there, Gil went to England to study and eventually settle as a highways engineer. In the meantime, Kate, who was a #family therapist came back to the U.S. Eventually, the two realized they didn’t want to be apart and got married and settled in England and then Turkey, with Kate moving to a self-employed real estate business. When Kate joined the Foreign Service in 2013, the two moved back to the States, with their first daughter and had to discover living in the U.S. for the longest time until that point in their relationship.

Nextpat: How was your adjustment to the U.S. and what challenges, if any, did you face as an interracial couple in the States?

Kate: The only time we’ve lived together in the U.S. was from 2013 to 2014, for one year, in DC. I was really busy and also tired, between language training and being pregnant, so we didn't go out a lot. I would say though, that I'd feel nervous when we were leaving the DC area to go to more remote areas in Virginia or Maryland. I always worried about something happening. Thankfully, nothing did.

Gil: I don't think we faced any particular struggles but then again we've never lived there together for very long. Our longest stay was 13 months in 2013-2014. I also think I was a little naive about the problems in the U.S. Having come from a majority black country, and then from England where racism is more covert, I just wasn't as aware of the magnitude of the racial problems black Americans face.