Lizz’s Team Pick: X-Men Were Born This Way

If you read comic books then you already know that the X-men tend to be one big allegory for civil rights (whether they be racial, national, ethnic or queer). For those of you who don’t read comic books, I’m sure it’s not exactly a stretch to see how in the “geez, mutant power scares other people/the government but also makes me awesome and special” we can just swap in sexual orientation/gender identity/general queerness. Yeah, not a big jump. Anyways someone on thinkprogressive.org wrote an article about X-Men first class saying just that.

More importantly, (as Louis Virtel pointed out on movieline.com) if you scroll down to the comments section you can see that, in response to commentators saying otherwise, X-Men:First Class screenplay writer Zack Stentz actually took the time to say the following:

Um, no offense, but you’re wrong. I helped write the movie, and can tell you the gay rights/ post-holocaust Jewish identity / civil rights allegory stuff was all put in there on purpose. Joss Whedon designed the whole “Cure” storyline in the comic books specifically as a gay allegory, and Bryan Singer wove his own feelings of outsiderdom as a gay man into the movie series. The whole “Have you ever tried NOT being a mutant” coming out scene in X2 isn’t even particularly subtle, while it is effective.

I think we can all learn a valuable lesson here. If you hate on gays/X-Men on the internet, the writer of Agent Cody Banks will tell you off.

Most importantly, this guy made a Youtube video totally relevant to this post (and the main reason I wrote it).


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Lizz

Lizz is a consumer, lover and writer of all things pop culture and the Fashion/Style Editor at Autostraddle.com. She is also full time medical student at Brown University in Providence, RI. You can find her on the twitter, the tumblr or even on the instagram.

Lizz has written 4 articles for us.

28 Comments

  1. That video is hardcore awesome! And I didn’t even know there was a new X-Men movie out! I love X-Men! (That’s a lot of exclamation points in a row, but it’s true. I love them.) Rogue and Wolverine were totally my angsty love muffins when I was a teenager.

  2. I’d like the video more if he wasn’t dressed like the Juggernaut – for one he is my least favourite mutant (maybe) and secondly in the Last Stand film the Juggernaut totally tried to damage Kitty Pryde (a.k.a Ellen Page)

  3. Relatedly, Ta-Nehisi Coates has a fantastic article in the NYT about the X-men, the civil rights movement, and selective history: http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/06/the-quintessential-mutants-of-america/240166/ (Read the column he links to at the top of the post, and then the rest of his column because he’s pretty awesome.)

    This isn’t really all that related, I guess, it’s just that I want everyone to read that article.

  4. I love X-Men and I am always routing for the queers as I watch them. Not a stretch at all. I mean I can’t help but see it!

    In the words of Liz Lemon – I don’t care! I’ll start my own group – rejection from society is what created the X-Men!

  5. sort-of-related question: ANY OF YALL GOING TO COMIC CON THIS YEAR??

    i’m thinking of going as Kitty Pryde (circa Astonishing Xmen, not Uncanny) but can’t sew for beans. i just want to carry a purple dragon.

    • haha what? I would alway end up picking someone who was closeted (lance bass, ricky martin, rafael and jory- my closeted friends), this should have been an early sign of failed heterosexuality.

      you reminded me of that movie he did with amanda bynes (who I’ve had a childhood crush on since “all that”). god even to this day, I would probably melt if I saw her walking by

  6. Yay! I love the X-Men and I love Autostraddle and now they’ve collided! This makes me a happy bunny.

    Also, if you guys haven’t seen the new X-Men film, you should. It’s really fun. I was a little nervous at first, considering just how monumentally awful and stupid X3 was and how aggressively mediocre the Wolverine movie was, but it totally won me over. So, so good.

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