Lynne Haahr, Thailand – Living Well in a Literal Global Village
Lynne & David Haahr
After speaking with Lynne Haahr, I could only shake my head in amazement with her cheer leading-like promotion of interracial relationships. She and her husband David are a true couple of the world. Could Lynne have known growing up as a military brat (as she calls it) that she would be living in some of the world’s most exotic places? Could she have known that her job, choice of mate (and his job) would expose her to life only dreamt of by others? Maybe, because it is second nature and with her award winning attitude, it falls right into place. Lynne’s is a wonderful “Living Well” story.
First of all, thank you so much for considering me for an interview. I am answering these questions with my husband, David next to me because I feel this is something We both share in everyday. I hope you don’t mind.
You’re welcomed and of course I don’t mind. I am glad to see your passion and cohesion. You can see the love that beams from you too. It really is nice. Well, let’s get started. Where are you from?
I was born in Virginia to an Air Force father (26 yrs) and a Government mother (Pentagon). We traveled all over the US and never had a duty station off the mainland. The family finally settled in dad’s last duty area and that is where we call home now: Aiken, South Carolina.
What is your husband’s ethnicity?
David, my husband was born in Denmark, but raised in the USA. So technically USA bread and butter‼!(Chuckling). His family moved here when he was 3 years old so he speaks no Danish and has no accent. David and is for all intents and purposes American.
How did you meet?
We met through both of our respective jobs: He was in Law in Las Vegas and I was in Real Estate in Las Vegas. He represented high-end entertainment clients who had money to invest and I worked the High End Real estate property market as well as foreclosures in that market. He called on a property of mine and the rest is history. Of course if you ask him, there’s a lot more to it than that. David likes to go into the details. Bottom line, the details are “We are together and VERY, VERY Happy”.
How long had you known him when you got married?
Not quite 2 years. We met in December 2002, but really started dating shortly thereafter in 2003. David was very persistent. I could see why he was so good at law and why he always got what he wanted.
When were you married?
We were married October 22nd, 2004 in Toronto, Canada at the Toronto Tower.
I can imagine that was romantic. Was this your first interracial relationship?
No, not for either of us. David had previously dated one black girl, for about a year. It was frowned upon and didn’t work out for her. I, on the other hand had white boyfriends off and on through school and my first husband was a white Marine. I was in the Navy and separate duty stations split us up actually. Separation, time, circumstance, etc. was just not good for him. He ended up filing for divorce and we both moved on. And look at me now.
How did you feel about interracial marriage and relationships before you were in one?
I never knew anything different. I was always around a tight nit group being an Air Force brat. I was never taught that there was any difference between Blacks and Whites except for what you saw on TV back then and my parents ALWAYS played that down. We have never seen any difference. It was always accepted in both of our families. David’s story makes this really interesting because after his mother and father divorced they both married inter-racially.
Do you feel any different about interracial marriage and relationships now?
WE LOVE It. We always have, always will and wish we would see more of it. We are very happy now to see so many advertisements, TV commercials and movies depicting interracial relationships! Keep it coming!
Did you face skeptics and criticism from friends and/or family about your interracial marriage?
Not really. Those who mean anything to you will always be there even if you married a Gorilla (sigh). People who don’t agree will be replaced and they weed themselves out. We have run across people who do not accept it and you can tell by their attitudes. They are not comfortable in their OWN lives. WE are!
What a fantastic attitude. Do you recall how you first informed your friends and family of your interracial relationship and subsequent marriage?
In most cases, we just showed up. In other cases we made small overtures to ascertain what our friends would expect when we did show up. It was very easy and really no problems.
Now David’s family is unique, what about some of his other family members, did you or he face any criticism from them?
NONE. Like I said, when his parents were divorced (after 30+ years) they both married interracially with blacks. There were no issues, nor problems with anyone else. It has been great, and the same with my family.
Have you ever felt pressure or experienced a significant difference between your non interracial and interracial relationships?
NEVER, not once. Negativity has always come from someone was NOT a friend — both in business and in personal experiences.
Yes. More so in the US than Denmark or Thailand. Generally, within the international community, people don’t see this as being a problem. The US still has severe hang-ups over most inter-racial relationships.
Do you attribute or connect some of it to negative images of blacks from slavery or something else?
Well, this is a very dangerous question. I don’t think it is attributed so much to slavery (that has been around since Bible days). It has been in every race and nationality as well as religion. However, the SKIN color has always been treated as being the inferior which in my mind is the root cause. Even in 2009, if you have anything other than WHITE skin, you are looked down on and treated shamefully and disrespectfully. In the Asian community, they grab onto and marry white men and women as fast as they can. Some of them want to lighten their skin color because they believe that the white race is superior to others. What a fallacy. Look at our own black community. Some black men prefer lighter skinned or white women too. When will we learn?
Do you have children?
Yes, we have a 17-year-old son. He is mine from a previous marriage (Black relationship, reminding me of WHY I am with David today. David wants a baby girl and we have been trying with no success yet. If we have a boy it will not matter as David just wants a child with ME! However he would prefer a girl if he could put in the order today‼(smiling).
Good luck with that. Since he gets what he wants, it shouldn’t be too long. Does race figure into child rearing for you?
It hasn’t to date and will not in the future.
When your son first experienced racism, what was your advice to him?
Well, we asked him how it made him feel inside. We told him to base how he treated others on what he felt inside. Our son is very easy going and tolerant. Because of his international exposure, our children will most likely marry interracially and internationally. This could mean African, Asian, European or whatever they want. We will always encourage and support them.
Where do you live?
We currently live in Bangkok, Thailand however this month David’s job is now taking us to Bangladesh for the next 5 years.
My goodness, world travelers. Do you think world in general is a good place for interracial couples and families? Where do you think you will settle down eventually and why?
21) Do you have any suggestions for black women just entering interracial relationships?
Do what is in your heart and what makes you feel good. Remember, it is YOUR life and NOT those around you. Just do it and NEVER look back. You will have ups and downs as in any relationship. You will have negative people and naysayers, but you know what? You will have them if never enter into an interracial relationship or marriage. So you might as well have what your heart desires and do it TOGETHER!
Neither David nor I could ever imagine life without each other! I could never say that before David! He is my rock. David is always so positive and up-beat. (more details of another story—smiling).
Well, this has certainly been refreshing. Much continued success in your travels and let us know when you have that baby girl.