Samoan/Jewish – aka The Last Unicorn

IMG_0312S. Dreyfuss,
Novato, CA.

Sometimes I call myself The Last Unicorn, after the silly 1980’s movie about a unicorn, the only one of her kind, that goes searching for evidence of others. Growing up with the unusual combination of Samoan/Ashkenazi Jewish, I’ve always wondered if there was anyone else out there like me. Any single other Unicorn.

My race was not something I thought of every day growing up, but it did set me apart overall. I never felt like I fully fit – raised in a Jewish community in the SF Bay Area, I had one foot in that world, one foot in another. And there was a certain loneliness inside of me that I never fully acknowledged until much later in life, a yearning to belong somewhere, and the creeping feeling that it might never happen the way I wanted it to.

Fast forward a few years, and that void inside me is starting to go away. Because even though I’ve searched and found nothing, I know for sure that I’m not the only Unicorn anymore. Because of the internet – showing me daily that kids these days are more mixed than ever before. Because of the people I’ve met on my travels that all take pride in their varying self-indentifications. Because of my friends – Swedish-Algerian, German-Colombian, Filipino-Scottish – whose faces are daily reminders that I’m not alone in my quest. I hope that soon enough, we unicorns will be the norm, and no kid will ever have to worry about “fitting” anywhere anymore.


Tweets by Michele Norris