Being a Minority

I’ve never been in the minority.

As a upper middle class Caucasian female growing up in California, I was part of the majority for my entire life.

The majority of people at my schools were Caucasian. Even in college, after moving to San Diego and being so close to Mexico, Caucasians were still the majority.

Although Psychology is considered to be a “science”, it was mainly a female dominated major. Certainly social work is, there were maybe 5 guys in my entire masters program.

Now, for the first time in my life, I find myself in the minority, and it doesn’t feel very good.

I work at a Jewish agency. You don’t have to be Jewish to work there, nor do we only serve the Jewish population, but most of the people that work there are Jewish. Certainly most of the people I work with on a daily basis are Jewish, culturally and religiously.

There are many times during the day where I feel left out of conversation. They will make references to places that I don’t know, holiday’s I am unfamiliar with, slang words I don’t understand, jokes I don’t get. I often has to ask what certain words mean, what certain places are, and what certain symbols mean.

It’s not a very good feeling to have, being in the minority.

I know my co-workers aren’t trying to exclude me on purpose. I’m sure it’s rare for them to be in the majority, most of the time Jewish individuals are in the minority (according to them).

But I feel like the odd one out. I feel left out.

Makes me wonder how other minorities feel; if they feel the same way I do.

As much as we like to think that we are understanding and open-minded to other cultures, maybe the negative/uncomfortable feelings around being in the minority is something that can’t be overcome.