Everyone has been a minority in a larger group. You lived overseas and were the only American. You were the only tattooed person visiting the senior center. You were the only woman at a software conference. At those times, whether you wanted to be or not, you 'represent.' Your actions and words would set a standard, good or bad, by which others like you would be judged.
If you were in a foul mood, then all teenagers are rude. And if you sucked at math, then all girls suck at math. This is why AdaCamp DC this year was such a joy.