Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Is the X-men a gay parable?

Yes Poodle, it is.
In X-Men: First Class, one young mutant-human tells another, "You have no idea what I'd give to feel ... normal." It's a moment anyone who went to high school can empathize with, though it might mean something more to those who grew up gay—the adolescent experience when you discover, like the X-Men, something in your nature that makes you different from the majority of the people around you.

Parallels between the mutant experience and the gay experience pervade First Class, which opened on Friday to a weekend box-office haul of $56 million. The film, a prequel to the modern X-Men movie series, tells the franchise's origin myth: Genetic mutations create a cadre of young superheros who use their powers for good—in this case, by attempting to defuse the Cuban Missile Crisis. The mutants are, unmistakably, a social minority. The film's catchphrase is "mutant and proud," a playful riff on post-Stonewall self-acceptance, and a "don't ask, don't tell" joke even finds its way into the dialogue.  Read on: The Atlantic
I know.  So what?  Gay seizes the day.


  1. +JMJ+

    I just read an analysis of the movie that said that the scene in which Magneto manages to turn a huge satellite dish using only his mind is a metaphor for "mutant" control of the media. I'm not of the over-analytical Bladerunner school, so I hesitate to buy it, but isn't it cute?

  2. Stan Lee invented the X-Men in the 1960s while the civil rights battles were raging. Over the year it has become a parable for any outcast group -Jews, blacks, Indians, anyone "different", and since the 80s, increasingly gays. Lately they even showcase / parallel Muslims, because don't you know, our prejudices againt Islam are entirely irrational ...

    But yes, X-Men has served as a vehicle for the gay agenda, an Marvel Comics in general for a secular liberal worldview. Christians are often depicted as the bigoted powers that be, but to be fair, some writers do develop devout Christian souls in their characters, though they usually end up being the "tolerant" type.

    Anyway, I hope it's not a sin to see the movie... I've been worried about that a lot lately with all kinds of films, not just the blatantly immoral ones.

  3. Any group that feels they're an outcast can probably find something of themselves in the X-Men. I doubt if they were created specifically with gay people in mind. If Lee's intention was to do that, then why not include in the X-Men coterie a gay mutant? Or is there one already?

    Isn't Nightcrawler(?) a devout Catholic, btw?

  4. And all this time I thought it was an allegory about comic book nerds...

  5. +JMJ+

    Yes, there is a homosexual member of the X-men: Northstar. But he didn't join the team until the 80s or so. He almost died of AIDS until the writers changed their minds.

    I love Nightcrawler as much as any other Catholic reader of comics, but I have to admit that in the X-men universe, there's no real difference between being gay and being Catholic: the point is that you are an outcast trying to save a world that doesn't understand you and will probably never accept you, no matter how pure your intentions or how selfless your actions. Only other mutants can really understand--but some of them are also the enemies who are trying to destroy the non-mutant world. So you're essentially protecting those who hate you from those who are like you.

    Oh, look! It's an allegory of Abbey-Roads!!!

    Terry, you comic book nerd, you!

  6. Oh, look! It's an allegory of Abbey-Roads!!!

    I think it is! Thanks E!

  7. And no one cares about Northstar, either. He was a member of the Canadian team Alpha Flight, and when they decided a member of the X-universe needed to "come out", they picked a D-lister, cause even the most "tolerant" fanboys and girls would have raised 40 kinds of he'll of Wolverine or some other cherished character came out. It's all about selling comics anyway - and that just wouldn't sell. Everyone's "tolerant" until their best friend turns out gay.


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