Not long ago my fellow Kansan in Korea and I excitedly attended the most recent installment of the X-Men saga. In short, it rocked but I knew it would. I've been in love with those mutants since university when I first started watching them on the animated series.
There's a theory that gay people are "mutants" as well. The theory goes like this: when nature senses that the population of a species is more than the resources can provide for, it produces members that can't reproduce when they have sex with each other. In otherwords, homosexuality happens as sort of "nature's stop-gap." Althought fraught with problems, it's an interesting theory that even Dr. Laura Schlessinger has indirectly mentioned.
Perhaps this was on the mind of Brian Singer when he directed the first two X-men movies. As a gay Jewish man, he had some experience with being both a minority and an outsider. He's even said that his experiences influenced development of the films. Although much as already been written about the queer connection to X-Men, I thought I'd go ahead and add my own personal thoughts!
In the first movie we have a pompous senator warning against having mutants as teachers in the schools. This reminded me of when my mother urged me to leave the field of education because of my "lifestyle choice."
Also in the first movie we learn of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. This one-of-a-kind school was a safe haven for mutant children who couldn't attend school in their hometowns because their difference caused abuse, rejection and harrassment. Although not fictional, the Harvey Milk High School serves a similar purpose by allowing gay students to complete their high school education in a safe environment.
In the second film, there was a great scene in which Bobby (later called Iceman), tells his parents about being a mutant and seeks their love and acceptance. His naive mother memorably responds "Have you ever tried not being a mutant?" This brought to mind a similar "coming-out" discussion I had with my own mother!
In the most recent movie, the plot centers around a mutant cure and it's implications. I've previously blogged about the possibility of a "gay cure," both medical and psychological. Many of the same sentiments and arguments were mirrored by mutants protesting such a cure.
On the other hand, there was a touching scene when Wolverine confronts Rogue, who is on the way to receive the cure. She tells him that all she wants is to be able to hold her boyfriend's hand without fear. I've also had similar longings as have many other gay people around this planet.
And finally, throughout all the Mutant X-men stories are themes of being an "abnormality" in a normal world and the difficulties of that coexistence. Some mutants try to hide their difference while others welcome it as a gift that makes them unique. Still others see the world as an adversary, out to hurt them and respond defensively. Within the gay community all these schools of thought are represented.
I guess the thing I love most about the X-Men is that, unlike Magneto's group, they are so optimistic and hopeful about the rest of humanity. It's that grace under fire that I believe God wants us to extend to the others we meet on this journey called LIFE.