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In every relationship I have with a white man, there comes a moment when they come to understand a simple fact of my life: that racism is an intimate part of my daily existence.

Sometimes, they’re enraged — like the time when I called my last boyfriend after I left American Apparel in search of nipple covers for a white bodysuit. And then there are the quieter times, the ones that weigh more heavily, that bring us closer together.

The store had some, but none that matched my skin tone. Once, in my late 20s, my boyfriend and I were stopped by police, and I quickly became frantic about the weed in the car.

He put his hand on my knee and reminded me that I was safe with him. Racism isn’t something white people to face every day.

Whenever I’m standing on a subway platform, I play this game: I hover near a person I think is cute and try to slowly make my way over to him so we get in the same car. Like most of the girls in my class, I wanted attention from the boys.