Gay is Ok Says the X-men

In the year 2000, a movie by the name of X-Men was released. It was a fun, exciting, great-looking, cool action movie that audiences and critics alike both thoroughly enjoyed. However, as with any movie, if it makes money, there will be a sequel...and on a $75 million budget, for a movie to gross $296,339,527 (http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=xmen.htm) a sequel was inevitable. The world was intrigued and excited as to what director Bryan Singer would do with his second outing with this now franchise. When it came out, he surprised everyone by not only making a movie that was just as entertaining as the first, but also made a movie with a socially relevant commentary, effectively 'one-uping' the previous film. This commentary surrounded a very relevant controversy, gay rights in America. The video I chose is a clip from this movie entitled X2: X-Men United. In this scene, the character Bobby goes to his house with many of his mutant friends to tell his parents that he is a mutant.

In this movie, mutants are looked on as different than regular people and have different rights than normal people have. If this sounds familiar it is because the entire movie is a metaphor for gay rights. This scene may seem like it is just a boy telling his parents he has mutant powers, but in reality, it too is a metaphor for people's intolerance...even in a person's family.

The scene opens with Bobby's mother asking "When did you first know you were a..." and she cannot finish the sentence Bobby's mutant friend helping her. The father tries to pass off the obvious dislike of this idea by saying that they thought Bobby was going to a gifted school. Without any warning, his mother then continues on to say that "we still love you". This shows how uncomfortable the family really is with the situation, which once again can be related to how gay people may feel if their parents are not accepting of their life choices. The look on Bobby's face is the realization that his parents are just as unaccepting as the rest of the world.

The mother also tell Bobby that the mutant "problem" is complicated. She uses this word deliberately because she truly feels that being a mutant makes you different from "normal" people. The parents and brother of Bobby become increasingly uncomfortable and finally Bobby shows his mother that he can freeze anything with his fingertips. It is here that the mother realizes that her son is not natural at all and becomes very scared. Again, this is all connected to how many unaccepting people react when they realize that someone they thought they knew is different than "the norm".

In the end, the mother tries to compose herself and ask Bobby calmly if he has ever tried "not being a mutant" as if it were a choice. This, once again, relates to many people's idea that gay is a choice and not something you cannot control.

Overall, the entire film X2: X-Men United is a metaphor for gay rights. In the film, the mutants are 'stand-ins' for gay people and non-mutants are the straight people. The parents and brother of Bobby are very confused as to how to handle their son being different while still trying to love him. clearly they are not comfortable with Bobby being a mutant but are trying their best to figure out if he can just stop being what he was born as. There are countless stories of gay people's families being unaccepting of their child, brother, sister, cousin, niece, nephew, and grandchild being gay, making them feel uncomfortable in their own home and , in some cases, kicking them out of the home for not being 'normal'. This film (and this scene in particular) did something that, at the time, no other film had done; taken a concept that people thought was just dumb action (a superhero movie) and made it more than just that...it made it relevant and important to society.

Bibliography

Box Office Mojo: X-Men. (n.d.). Retrieved March 05, 2017, from http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=xmen.htm

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