X-Men and Homosexuality: The Connection

Discussion in 'X-World' started by littyx, Nov 11, 2005.

  1. littyx

    littyx Registered

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    Hey everyone. I have a friend that asked me to do some research for a presentation on the similarities of X-Men and homosexuality. He knows of what a huge X-Men fan I am and knew where to look.

    Anyway, I know of the obvious reasons X-Men and homosexuals have similar struggles (discrimination, coming out @ puberty, political struggles, Legacy Virus & AIDS). But does anyone know of more specific examples, or any more examples for that matter. Thank you.

    Also, if you have a problem with this topic, or want to use this thread as a place to emit negative opinions on how X-Men and gays dont correlate, please don't. Do it on your own time somewhere else. This is a simple question for a term paper. Thanks again.
     
  2. lazerustheduck

    lazerustheduck To Be Continued...

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    Not sure I can really contribute much but was always fascinated with the struggle Kurt had balancing his mutantcy and his religious beliefs.
    It makes you wonder if the adversity in trying to maintain his religion while being what many in that religion would consider an abomination is what drove him closer to holy orders rather than further away.
    How does this correlate to homosexuality in the catholic church and the high proportion of gay men in the church today.
     
  3. Angry Sentinel

    Angry Sentinel Registered

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    Specific?

    How about the Gay characters?

    Alpha Flight: Northstar (moves fast) I seem to remember he drew the spotlight for a story a couple of times.
     
  4. newwaveboy87

    newwaveboy87 automatic systematic

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    it correlates very well actually. he's trying to balance something he cannot change, but that his religion feels is a choice that is made. they demon him for something outside of his control, and he's constantly trying to balance his religious beliefs with his lifestyle.
     
  5. Holy spirit

    Holy spirit Registered

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    X-men comics and the religious connection. Future prophecy on Christians and the prophecied slaughter from the anti-christ during the end of days and the character Apocalypse by all names and story lines. It also about being outcast in society have to admid Bryan Singer used a few gay actors like Ian Mckellen, Brian Cox and Alan Cummings. Any more who knows?
     
  6. newwaveboy87

    newwaveboy87 automatic systematic

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    Brian Cox is gay? :confused: i know Bryan Singer is....
     
  7. littyx

    littyx Registered

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    I've never heard of Brian Cox being gay. I know Ian and Singer are.
     
  8. newwaveboy87

    newwaveboy87 automatic systematic

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    i help you out at all?
    if you want more of my help - you should ask more specific questions
     
  9. X-Maniac

    X-Maniac High Evolutionary

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    The X-Men supposedly is an allegory that symbolises the struggle of minority groups in general. This includes gay people. But I don't know what minority groups the creators had in mind. They may not have been thinking specifically of gay people. There was McCarthyism in the USA - McCarthyism took place during a period of intense suspicion in the United States primarily from 1950 to 1954, when the US government was actively countering American Communist Party subversion, its leadership, and others suspected of being Communists or Communist sympathizers. During this period people from all walks of life became the subject of aggressive "witch-hunts," often based on inconclusive or questionable evidence.

    And of course there was the racist events in the USA too. And the civil rights movement that led to the protests led by Martin Luther King and the passing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. It was in 1963, the year the X-Men was first published, that Martin Luther King said: "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character" in a speech at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C. (28 August 1963).

    During the 60s there was also a rising gay rights movement in the USA that led to the Stonewall Riots of 1969.

    So the X-Men was created in a time where social/political minority groups - in particular blacks, gays and Communists - were fighting for their rights in a time of persecution. Although Communists are not born different - it's a political choice - they were part of this climate of discrimination, fear and suspicion.

    In the X-Men universe, the scientific term mutants is applied to those born with unusual abilities (and/or appearances) just as many people believe there is a 'gay gene', although I don't know whether there were strong scientific thoughts about a gay gene at the time the X-Men was first created.

    The persecution element and the fight for rights is present in the comics in a very powerful sense, and has been reinforced by the movies. The movies contain what could be interpreted as several ideas that have particular resonance with gay people - running away from home (Rogue), the search for true identity (Wolverine), fear of what normal people might think (Storm, in her conversation with the dying Senator Kelly), fear of taking part in normal life because they may be shunned or bullied (Mystique in her conversation with Kelly on the helicopter). And Magneto's Jewish/gipsy parents being led to the gas chamber (as gay people also were). Also, Iceman's 'coming out' scene with his parents in X2 has been seen by many as having a strong gay subtext.

    Bryan Singer - who is gay - was attracted to the movies by the idea of persecuted minorities. He is also Jewish and as an adopted child is also searching for his true identity -- which is why he focused on, and identified with, Wolverine in particular.

    Ian McKellen was attracted to the X-Men movies by its symbolism for struggling minorities. And Singer said he would often direct McKellen with a gay reference. In an interview in Total Film magazine (issue 44, September 2000), Singer was asked how he got the actors to find their characters (they were not allowed to read the comics), and he responded: "You find tricks and ways of getting them to speak, or intellectually: 'Look, Ian, this is a society of people who want to wipe out homosexuals. What do you feel about that?' There's ways to do it."

    In the same interview, Singer says: "The idea about reluctant superheroes, born the way they are, searching for acceptance in a world that hates and fears them, it's interesting. It's what every adolescent experiences at one point or another. It's what I experience every day."

    Producer Lauren Schuler Donner said in the same magazine article: "Thematically there's a lot to relate to. It's about oppression. It's about prejudice, it could be the Jews in World War Two, it could be gay people."
     
  10. Lazmarquez

    Lazmarquez Famke for President!

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    Very well written and said. :up: Being a gay individual myself, that's really what got me connected to the X-Comics and films with such ease. Everyday I wake up feeling as though I'm different, as though someone may be judging my every choice or move, as though I may never get the same rights as those who are more accepted in society. Sometimes issues like this can be daunting and make things very sad, but it's things like X-Men that give some just a little more to relate to. I think all of those years reading the X-Men comics as a kid helped me develop a sincere appreciation for my differences in the world. I now feel as though my difference gives me something many struggle to obtain. Uniqueness and self-understanding.
     
  11. littyx

    littyx Registered

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    Well, it really can't get any more specific. I just want to know if people have examples from the comic or film they want to share.

    Also, thanks X-Maniac for that.
     
  12. littyx

    littyx Registered

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    Definitely Laz. I know that my being a homosexual makes me that much more dynamic. And truthfully, I think it makes me more interesting. You can't grow unless you have struggle. And many homosexuals struggle throughout adolesence. To have gotten through that, through being ridiculed, and scared, and being isolated, to have grown and come out of all that unscathed, is truly a great achievement. Like you said, I am also unabashed about my homosexuality. I am in a sense, almost grateful that I am. And I am definitely proud of myself to be 22 and gotten this far with acceptance of myself. Its also odd because 90% of people think I am straight. So I can go through school and work without people knowing. But I dont hide the fact, I want people to know. I think because I have seen and experienced what being in the closet is like, and I never want that feeling again.
     
  13. newwaveboy87

    newwaveboy87 automatic systematic

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    this has turned into the Homosexual Group Therapy thread as pretaining to X-Men!
    :eek: :up:
     
  14. Lazmarquez

    Lazmarquez Famke for President!

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    I have the same situation. Many people think I'm straight because of how i carry myself and my likes and dislikes, so i've been generally lucky as to my acceptance, but it's also still had it's difficult times.. it's nice to know others go through the same. and yes buddy, newwaveboy, this is i suppose somewhat a group therapy.. but everyone needs some venting and relation sometime :)
     
  15. newwaveboy87

    newwaveboy87 automatic systematic

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    definitely people need to vent at times. lord knows there's been plenty of times when i need too.
     
  16. X-Maniac

    X-Maniac High Evolutionary

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    I wouldn't have said this was a homosexual therapy session. A question was asked and I tried to answer it.

    I don't mind what a person's sexuality is. If they are a decent person, a nice person, I couldn't care less what they do in their private lives.

    Some gay people go through hell, and for the two people here who say that people think they are straight, that must save them a lot of grief and distress.
    As soon as people think, suspect or know you are gay, then a lot of bad things can happen.

    I know people from all walks of life, all possible sexual permutations (straight/gay/bisexual/bicurious/asexual/celibate/virgin/married/divorced/you name it) so I've heard some stories in my time!

    And working in the media, as I do, I am constantly trying to fight against the system and protect people's rights and stop the subtle prejudice that surrounds us. You'd be surprised how many people make automatic assumptions and apply labels and descriptions without even thinking that they are discriminating.

    For instance, a story about two antiques dealers winning the lottery jackpot. The news service story said 'Two gay antiques dealers are celebrating after winning....' but I said that if they were straight, the first paragraph wouldn't include their sexuality. I got all mention of the word gay removed - we just said 'Bryan and his partner' rather than 'Bryan and his gay lover' which made it seem seedy and was subtle discrimination, as the story made it obvious that they were a couple, and there was a paragraph about how they met in Manchester's 'gay village' and that spelled it out clearly. I had to have quite an argument about it - would we say 'A black man has won the lottery?' - no, we wouldn't, and they began to see my point. But racial acceptance and rights have come a lot further than gay rights, and that is why homosexuality is described as the last acceptable prejudice.
     
  17. Darthkush

    Darthkush Avenger

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    I will say only this: I don't understand people who LOVE the x-men and hate homosexuals. If you really understand and know anything about these characters, you would be accepting of all people of all colors, religions, sexualities, etc.
     
  18. _BB_

    _BB_ Its been a while...

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    ^ Exactly.

    The X-Men comics are a great metaphor for life and in one way or another, everyone can identify with at least one of these characters.

    Ive seen a boy in my school who was only RUMOURED to be gay and he was bullied so bad, mainly by the lads. I felt so bad for him and how those lads treated him even though it was only a rumour made me sick to my stomach and I know my friends felt the same way. Why should one small difference like that cause such behaviour?

    I like James Marsdens explanation on the 1.5 DVD when he says something like, if a guy came into the room, blasted a hole in the wall with his eyes and walked straight back out again how would you react? Would you feel that this person is a threat and stay away or hurt them? Or would you tolerate it and want to find out more about what just happened?

    Every minority group is stereotyped because of general ignorance for example, there are many people out there who would say "All muslims are terrorists." If they opened their minds a little and found out more about Islam then would there be so much intolerance? The same thing goes for mutants; "All mutants are dangerous" but are they really? The x men are proof that they are not. If people bothered to actually come into contact and try to understand this minority group then would there be so much conflict between the two sides?

    The X Men are an analogy for all of those "minority" groups including homosexuals. Ideas and stereotypes about them can only be changed if the majority bother to use their own minds for a change instead of everyone elses and actually think about things. Through lack of ignorance, tolerance of those who are considered to be different can be achieved. If everyone were the same then life would be boring and who is to say what is normal and what is not?
     
  19. X-Maniac

    X-Maniac High Evolutionary

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    On Ian McKellen's website, he said this in an interview:

    "When Bryan Singer first talked to me about X-Men he explained the Xavier/Magneto axis in terms of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. It's true that each civil rights movement splits between the integrationists and separationists — the proponents of non-violence versus violent activism. I have noted that amongst activists in the gay rights movement. Some of us move between the various approaches, me included. Any member of a minority facing discrimination can relate to the mutants' dilemma. So before I ever saw the comic, I knew what would be central to the film script - an ever-relevant political argument. That attracted me as a gay man and as an actor."
     
  20. _BB_

    _BB_ Its been a while...

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    ^ How could i forget that. Whenever i think of those two i always think of malcolm x and martin luther. That is one of the greatest analogies concerning the x men.
     
  21. newwaveboy87

    newwaveboy87 automatic systematic

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    X-Maniac, what i said was just a joke. don't take everything so deathly serious.
     
  22. OutcryX

    OutcryX Registered

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    have you tried "NOT" being a mutant?
     
  23. littyx

    littyx Registered

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    I'm glad to see so many making positive remarks on this thread. Thanks guys. This is why I spend so much time here.

    I've been reading X-Men since I was about 7, and I'm pretty sure on some level one of the reasons I felt a connection with it was because of their internal struggle. I always knew I was different, It didn't become completely obvious until I hit puberty. But as I have grown older, and watched the movies, I can definitely appreciate it for how it can somtimes reflect some things I go through. Like social and politicial discrimination. I think thats one of the hardest things to live through. Your own country and president not recognizing you as a complete citizen. Just like Jean Grey said in X1.

    "Yes, we license people to drive cars, but not to live".
     
  24. LittleMissVixen

    LittleMissVixen Registered

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    With the parallel themes, it’s a shame gay characters aren’t handled better in the x-men comics.
     
  25. Angry Sentinel

    Angry Sentinel Registered

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    I know it's of little consequence, but at least they are present. Just like any other lessening of a double standard, the first step is admittance, then comes understanding and finally acceptance. These are the "step and fetch it" days of homosexual characters in stories... now they have to push for a more "three-dimensional" characterization.

    But you do raise a good point for Littyx. He can use the sterotypical way the characters themselves are handled, and further illustrate the next step. Or outline (review) the current characterizations as a breakdown of the typical stereotype. And show how even the books that explore these "taboo" subjects still commit and underline the social labelling error themselves.

    Anybody got comic book issue numbers?
    *goes to search through issues*
     

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