Since my teen years, I have not felt part of the tribe. At some level I would like to fit in, but I don’t. I refuse to clap along when told to.
I recognise myself as Oskar, the boy who would not grow up in Gunter Grass’ Tin Drum. His rebellion against tyranny wasn’t just because he morally objected to it, he wanted to be the tyrant himself. So he drummed against the beat of the march. This desire for power predates our monkey days. But it is not really a problem, it is recognised, caged and rarely fed or exercised. Poor beast.
Even in the 21st century being gay estranges one from the larger tribe. But the gay tribe, at least for me, is not a real tribe . Sure I have friends and allegiances and recognise a common cause. But gay people are just like everyone else, most you get along with, some you don’t.
My tribe, if I have one, is loose and diverse including friends, family and colleagues, but is only weakly bonded. Individuals have left orbit and not been missed for years. We share few common goals and are inclusive of gays and straights, vegans and herbivores, atheists & believers. But we span continents. Our only universal belief is in tolerance and good will.
While I feel little pride in nation, I feel powerfully connected to the the land. Mostly to the places I’ve lived. But I’ve also left bits behind everywhere. Possibly even my heart in San Francisco.
My territory spans the world of ideas. From the ancient world through to the present day. Plato, Dante and J.K, Rowling are like old friends, no matter how often they argue.
So come the vote for independence, I may not bother. I do not care about flags.
The process of becoming an outsider is described in an earlier blog, Juvenile Delinquent.