Relevant identity context, I'm white, my partner can be reasonably seen to a stranger as white, and both of us are genderqueer and LGBTQ+ identifying.
I work at a college in Boston, and my partner (they/them pronouns) is participating in a summer research program which focuses on improving diversity among graduate students on the same campus. They are staying in program-provided group dorm housing in a single. I've visited them a few times and hung out in common areas with the other participants living there, helped my partner cook, things like that. Everyone I talked with was friendly in person. I'm very used to a ton of diversity and I didn't even notice that I was the only person who was not a person of color in the room, nor did anyone insinuate so. I'm not the smoothest, socially, but I mostly just listened and laughed at jokes sometimes.
My partner overheard others talking about me later, and told me the direct quote, "Get out of here white boy. This is a program for minorities." My partner said it was a joke, and I trust their judgment of the tone, but still, they say it hurts them a lot, and it hurts me, too.
I recognize that this space is home for people who often feel silenced and definitely isn't mine to claim, but I'm conflicted because I'm hurt and alienated and I can't visit the home of a person I love without feeling ashamed of my race/appearance/cultural background.
1) Should I do anything here, or is it more important to acknowledge my privileged comfort everywhere else I go? I also risk embarrassing my partner or making their home life harder.
2) If so, how? I thought about asking one of the program participants for a private conversation on e.g. whether I'm really not welcome there because I'm white and how it would make sense to maintain my relationship with my partner, but it isn't those folks' responsibility to spend energy solving the problem I have with their relatively normal humor. I also don't know which person to talk to. They're acquaintances at most.
Part of me also wants them to apologize to my partner, because my partner is suddenly very uncomfortable where they live and that seems like pretty concrete harm to me that won't be diffused easily. I'm thinking that will be better served as my partner's initiative, though.