CAUTION: Love Is Blind spoilers are ahead!
I have a confession to make: I, Mushfequr Rahman, am a cynic. Before I give myself the gold medal that so many self-proclaimed cynics give themselves, I have to admit that my cynicism is not all-encompassing. At heart, I am a hopeless romantic and a sucker for any ounce of romance out there. That’s why when Netflix’s Love Is Blind came out, I immediately gravitated towards the show and became hooked. The premise of the reality show is that 15 men and 15 women go on dates with each other in “pods” where they cannot see each other and are expected to find the connection of a lifetime. The successful couples are then engaged and spend some time in the real world before they get married – that is, if they survive the troubles of reality. Honestly, a majority of the couples faded into the background with the exception of one – Lauren Speed and Cameron Hamilton.
Speed, a 32-year-old content creator, and Hamilton, a 28-year-old artificial intelligence data scientist, connected immediately. They both delved into serious topics from the get-go with Hamilton sharing how his mom’s Parkinson’s diagnosis took a toll on him and Speed expressing her concerns about going into an interracial relationship, especially as a Black woman. They got engaged within the first episode, but when they met in person for the first time, it was as if they had known each other for years. Compared to the other couples on the show (see: Jessica “I feed my dog wine” Batten and Mark “blindly in love” Cuevas), Speed and Hamilton coasted through, but this did not mean that they were struggle-free. As with any healthy relationship, they had tough conversations on pivotal topics, such as Speed’s desire for retaining her independence and Hamilton’s desire for them to immediately live together. It is the transparency and maturity with which Speed and Hamilton navigate these issues that draws so many fans to their relationship. In their moments on the show, there is something candid and honest about their connection and their willingness to make it work as capable adults with responsibilities.
Love Is Blind made it seem like all of Speed’s and Hamilton’s conversations were about her being Black and him being white, but they note that that is not the case; however, they talked and still talk about being an interracial couple at length. While interracial dating appears to be more common in recent years, the numbers are still quite abysmal. According to UCLA’s William Institute research using the 2010 U.S. Census, slightly more than 20% of LGBTQ+ relationships are interracial, compared to 18% of unmarried straight couples and 9.5% of married straight couples. The fact that Speed and Hamilton’s relationship is between a Black woman and a white man is even more notable, considering the immense social pressures that black women in interracial relationships face. In her article, LOOKING BEHIND THE STEREOTYPES OF THE “ANGRY BLACK WOMAN” An Exploration of Black Women’s Responses to Interracial Relationships, Erica Chito Childs points out that Black women in interracial relationships are accused of betraying their families and community due to having a “negative self-image and perceiving whites as superior” (Chito Childs 551). This heavy accusation instills well-founded fear within Black women going into interracial relationships as noted by Chito Childs in her interviews with Black women in interracial marriages. On Love Is Blind, this fear is evident in Speed’s early hesitations with fully being with Hamilton, but by trusting her own strength and having Hamilton’s support, she overcomes this fear. Speed’s confidence and strength is heartwarming and leaves a hopeful impact on me as a gay person of color navigating a rather monotone dating landscape.
There is no telling if Love Is Blind will be renewed for a second season, but through Lauren Speed and Cameron Hamilton, it has renewed America’s hope for genuine love. Even a year and a half into their marriage, Speed and Hamilton are starry eyed in love and fully invested into their future. While I locate adoption papers to join the Hamilton family, you need to watch Love Is Blind and fall in love with the dream romance of Lauren Speed-Hamilton and Cameron Hamilton.