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A young interracial couple and an interracial couple holding a photograph

Interracial Couple Inspires Next Gen 40 Years After Wedding

TikTok/ @jeriandmike and Instagram/ @jeri.andmike

Couple Marries 10 Years After Interracial Marriage Becomes Legal — Now They’re Goals

This couple proves the internet can still be a wholesome space.

When Mike and Jeralyn Wirtz wed more than four decades ago in Virginia, interracial marriage had only been legal for 10 years. Fast forward to today, and their love story is inspiring a new generation thanks to the couple’s active participation in social media.

Destined to be Together

When the Wirtzs met in 1976, they had both already made strong friendships with people of other races. So when they came into each other’s orbits, race was far from their minds. The couple lived in the same apartment complex, and they noticed each other hanging around the pool.

“I thought, ‘I like this girl, and she’s very attractive and I’m interested in her,’ and so we just started dating,” Mike recalled to Today.

“Obviously, I realized it was an interracial type of situation. I didn’t feel overwhelmed by it, though, because I think one thing that helped was eventually when she met my parents, they welcomed her with open arms, and her family was the same way with me.”

The couple fell in love and married in 1977 — almost 10 years after the Supreme Court struck down laws banning interracial marriage. Mike and Jeralyn had two children and went through life together, even when life threw them challenges.

“We knew that prejudice was out there and people would probably be looking at us, but we didn’t look for that,” Jeralyn added to the publication. “We didn’t, you know, engage in it.”

An Inspiring Love Story

Two people holding a papercut heart

two people holding papercut heart

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

When the pandemic hit, the Wirtzs decided to create a TikTok account to connect with their children and their grandchildren. Eventually, they began posting videos and old photographs of their love story, and people came flocking.

Today, their account boasts more than 370,000 followers and nearly 16 million likes.

“I’m not like Jeri. I don’t embrace it as much,” Mike said of their newfound fame. “We’re doing something that we enjoy, and we’re having fun at it. And I would have never in a million years guessed that other people would be interested in watching these videos.”

“I like it. I love it. I think it’s fun,” added Jeralyn. “I get to tease my younger friends that are working on becoming influencers and don’t have a lot of followers. I’m like, ‘I’m 72 years old and I’m a ‘YouTuber’ or an ‘influencer.’ It’s fun and funny for us.”

Love Conquers All

If you ever needed a love story to remind you of the power of true love, this is it. This couple met and married during a time when many questioned their decision, and went on to live a beautiful life together. They’re a wonderful reminder that with the right person, you really can take on the world.

Love doesn’t have to be with a romantic partner. This story teaches us that when you invest in the things that truly matter, such as love, friendship, and meaningful connections, societal opinions can fade into the background.

In the meantime, this couple also reminds us that social media and the internet can be a wholesome place and that sometimes, just being yourself is the most powerful attraction of all.​

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