Tales of the City series offered a worldview where groups do not exist in isolation. Rather, they exist shoulder to shoulder, helping and loving, other groups. Tales of the City celebrates the connectedness of humanity. My first found family was Armistead Maupin’s More Tales of the City, the second in the series, when I read it in high school. More Tales of the City embedded in me the values and worldview that made the Netflix series ‘Sense8’, by the Wachowski Siblings and J. Michael Straczynski.
In ‘Sense8’ there is a parallel species called homosensate, where a group (‘cluster’) is mentally and emotionally linked across the world. The show emphasizes the shared humanity amongst the diverse characters, while using their differences to unite and save one another. The members of a cluster did not know one another, due to global distance, prior to being activated, and find in one another a family. While happy in each other lives, they are isolated from those around them either because of a secret or just feeling misunderstood, but a cluster’s connections allows members to share experiences and memories, granting them innate understanding of who one another are.
The found family concept was introduced in More Tales of the City, which was taken to a global level by the wonderful ‘Sense8’. The Netflix series acted as a macrocosm to San Francisco in Tales of the City, applying the US melting pot to the entire world.