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Alyssa said that putting your racial background on your profile preempts the need to have an awkward conversation about it later on.

"I got less weird stuff about my racial background online than I did [dating] in person," Alyssa said.

And if the answer is yes, for the love of God, don't ask "what" they are.

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" To avoid dealing with that, some mixed race people put their "mix" right in their profiles, in hopes of fending off those questions. While on the website, she put her racial background on her profile.

"It's integral to who I am so I almost never try to hide it," she told . " or messages that said it was strange that her dad is Asian and her mom is white "because it's usually switched." Instead of penalizing her for her mixed-race background, users fetishized it.

"In person there's not a good way to say ' I'm biracial, don't be weird' before someone makes it a thing."That said, the people who are going to make it a "thing" will likely do so, regardless of whether they're meeting you IRL or on an online dating website.

As anyone who's ever received a "I've still been asked 'what are you/where are you REALLY from/do you date white guys' by men IRL, but it's usually not as in-your-face, I guess, as [on] OKCupid," Vanessa said.

Therefore, it is ultimately a discriminatory sentiment." In short, people who message mixed-race people might think they're complimenting them on how "exotic" they look.

What they're really saying, however, is crystal-clear: "You look different, so you're lucky I find you attractive."reported white people tended to be the most tone-deaf when it came to issues of race.We make a lot of assumptions based on physical appearance, and a person's racial background is no exception.So if you've just matched with a woman on Tinder and you think, "wow, you don't look Chinese" is an acceptable opener, think again. Look past the "exotic" picture and try to see whether they're a person you could enjoy spending time with.According to mixed-race Grindr user Ben*, 23, when people say they're looking exclusively for, say, Asians or Latinos, it's often in a fetishizing way, as if the users are looking for a race and not a person."I definitely see the ' No Asians' or ' No Latinos,' but also ' Into smooth Asians' or into 'sexy Latino men,'" he told Many users speak of their ambiguous ethnicity being used as a pick up line, either through direct questioning or comments like, "You look so exotic." "I don't typically get messages that come off as flirtatious or fetishizing me right off the bat, but some people will message me being like ' What's your mix? It's a question many mixed race people are familiar with, a subtle code for "Why don't you look the way I think you should? Alyssa*, 25, a woman of Japanese and white heritage, used OKCupid before she got into a long-term relationship."Those of us who are ethnic minorities who identify as multiple races are marginalized by the race we physically look like," he wrote.

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