Sunday, June 28, 2015

Finding your Tribe

Equal rights for all Americans has been in the forefront of the news all week, following hard on an ongoing tide of tales of bullying and discrimination against those among us who are NOT in the majority.

I've always thought that diversity, individuality, creativity, are qualities that should be encouraged and celebrated, instead of castigated.

So often, in our youth, the characteristics that make us special are treated as aberrations.  We must fit in.  Don't stand out.  Blend in.

Why should we?  Why should we strive to be mediocre?  Why must we be bland to be accepted?

I'm a huge fan of RuPaul.  I think many of his catch phrases, while simplistic, ring with basic truth.

"If you can't love yourself, how the hell are you going to love somebody else?"

Simple, but still so true, and so wonderful.

I was listening to an interview he did as part of a series called "It Gets Better."  In childhood, he was always aware of a difference between himself and the other children.  He wasn't like everybody else.  So when he grew up, he moved to a big city and found people like himself.  He found his tribe.

That thought stayed with me, for weeks now.  

"He found his tribe."

Again, so simple, but so wonderful.

The idea of it, finding your tribe; finding a group of people like yourself.  Fitting in; belonging, at long last.

Again, I thought how wonderful for him, but, I felt a sense of jealousy.

Where is my tribe?  I've always tried to blend in, to pretend that I was one of them, but I always knew I wasn't, not really.

My likes, my interests, my opinions, just never fit, anywhere.  

Not mainstream.  I tried what I could, but even among the band kids, or the drama kids, the most classic of the misfit, I was still a misfit among misfits.  

I think it's wonderful that RuPaul found where he belonged.  I love that the bullied, the special, and the creatives can sometimes find a place where they feel that sense of belonging.  

But me, I'm still looking.  

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