Thursday, June 14, 2007

X most definately marks the spot...

Last night, for lack of better things to do, I sat and watched two of my favorite movies -- X-Men 2 and 3. I can already hear the collective groans from my friends who consider themselves superior. Yes, I am a geek and I am proud to be a geek. All I can say is ... they do not understand and I will not cast my pearls before swine. Of course, I saw these films in the theater when they came out, mostly interested in the action and how they would resolve a Phoenix plotline, but for some reason, watching last night and knowing the plotline, I viewed these movies for the first time from a gay perspective and I must say it was certainly eyeopening.

Those of you that aren't comic fans probably don't know that the X-men are mutants that have been given a special power, a gift. (Also, please note how special they look out of uniform.) Problem is the world at large doesn't understand these powers and fears these mutants that have evolved to a different level. Some of these powers are extraordinary. The ability to manipulate weather, fire, metal, even a person's mind. These mutants want desperately to fit in and have sworn to use their gifts for a world that hates and fears them. I know I've been called dense before, but how could I have missed the parallels to the feelings that a lot of gay people have to endure such as loneliness, alienation, guilt and self-doubt.

The last of the trilogy, X3, The Last Stand, has an opening scene with a young man (Angel) whose mutation was the growth of wings, locked inside a bathroom trying to cut the newly sprouted wings from his back, from the shame of being different. To make matters worse his father barges in and sees him in the act of self mutilation. It was very clear that this scene serves a a parallel as to how a young person discovers and deals with his homosexuality.

The father of this young mutant then goes on to produce a "cure" for mutantism, that once injected, would permanently close down the mutant part of them forever. Ex-gay reparative programs, anyone? AND, AND the main facility of the cure is located on Alcatraz. Hmmmm... And it goes without saying that doctor responsible for the cure is trying to legislate that all mutants be forced to submit to the cure. Needless to say, thoughtful mutants take umbrage at this action.

But what if the choices were not so clear cut? What about those mutants who would willing give up their gift for the very reason of fitting in? One of the characters, Rogue, found herself in such a position. Rogue's power allowed her to temporarily drain the power of another mutant or the life of a regular human just by touch. She couldn't touch her own boyfriend without the risk of killing him. No physical contact -- no shot at every having children. Storm told her there was nothing wrong with her. Later in the film, we see that she did choose to take the cure and was concerned about how her fellow mutants would regard her after making such a choice. Would they treat her as a traitor or accept her decision, based on her circumstances? Interesting to think of how many people in our community who never wanted to be gay and have had so many problems dealing reconciling it in their life, would willingly give if all up if they could just to become "normal".

I have friend (also having been accused of being a geek by the so-called superior-minded) and we would discuss which X-man ability we could have if we could choose. While I certainly was drawn to Wolverine's claws, those can be a bit brutal and not useful in every situation. I loved Storm's ability to cast lightning at people and I was highly tempted to choose that one as so many people around me are sorely deserving of shock therapy, but I think I would have to go with Jean Grey's telekinesis and telepathy. Subtle but powerful. Plus, she turned out to be the most powerful one of them all (I know, I know - its a control thing). But her alter ego's(Dark Phoenix) quest for unbridled and absolute power was what ultimately destroyed her. A lesson here, perhaps... But its fun to speculate.

Like I said earlier, due to my density, I am probably the last gay person on the face of the earth to read deeper into these films, but that's just me. Anyway, its my blog and I can write about what I want (grin). I certainly had a lot of food for thought last night... Of course, the most important thing about of this goes completely without saying: they left it open for another movie. Next time I promise a post with more meat on it... Happy weekend, bitches.

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