17 November 2010

THT: X-Men & Me

I have to give credit first to my friend Richard who wrote this beautifully written note on facebook about the topic I want to address in this post. I thought it was a beautiful analogy and wanted to share my thoughts on it as well.

The X-Men. They are individuals who grew up in typical neighborhoods in typical families who went to school with you, played with you, sang at church next to you. Then, somewhere in the course of their adolescent years, they start to exhibit abnormal abilities due to genetic mutations. As if adolescents wasn't hard enough, now they had to deal with an unwanted mutation that scared them, and often filled them with self-loathing and embarrassment. Luckily, a good man began a safe school for these kids. So while many were rejected by their families out of fear and disgust, there was a place that was welcoming to them where they could meet others like them and learn how to deal with their special talent and to see it as a gift rather than a curse. They learned to love and appreciate their differences.

Sadly, society wasn't as appreciative. These x-men were oppressed and judged because of the prejudice and fear other "normal" people had against them. Laws were made against them. They were labeled "freaks" and viewed as "dangerous" and "problematic." In the face of this rejection and prejudice, some became hostile towards the society that raised them. And after the world threw them into the gutter, society didn't hesitate to show them off as poster-examples to testify how dirty they were dirty. They threw mud at them and then used their filthiness to encourage fear and disgust among the general population.

Those X-men who tried to do good with there powers, meanwhile, went unnoticed. No matter what they did to try and help society, the world only focused on those that were turned hostile by hate and rejection.

Most people love this story. X-Men are cool. You can collect action figures and watch movies. Read the comics, dress up like them for Halloween. They are even heroes to some kids. Then we think- wouldn't that be so cool if this was real! Well kids, this story is being told in real life right now. Maybe the gay and lesbian "mutants" don't have gifts that include controlling the weather or laser-beam eyes, but they do have amazing gifts of creativity, love, and understanding.

Eventually, a cure was created that would normalize the mutants. By that time, many had come to appreciate their differences and love themselves for it. Others were still so hurt by the rejection they faced from society that they lined up for the cure, excitedly anticipating their gate to normalcy and acceptance.

I don't know a single gay friend who hasn't been in a place where they would have done anything, given anything, to be cured of their attractions. If a cure was to be presented to me even 3 months ago, I would have done anything to take it. Now, however, I see my "mutation" as a gift. And no matter what the opposition is, I will not give away a gift so great as this so easily. It is this gift that has allowed me to place my worth, not in the hands of men, but in the hands of God. It is this gift that has allowed me to become as loving, understanding, and non-judgmental as I have become. It is this gift that forced me to really look at myself and become completely honest with who I am at a fairly young age. It is the gift that brought me confidence and determination. It allowed me to know what love is. So now, there is no sum of money in the world that someone could offer me to be "cured." My "mutation" is a blessing. And although it was hell coming to terms with that due to the social stigma homosexuality is given, it is now the source of most of the good I find in life. I'm not ashamed of being an x-man.


Kiley said...

Before really confronting being gay, I always hated Rogue for selling out... As I came out to myself I actually came to understand and appreciate her character a lot more. I sympathize with her desire to become "normal" but more and more I am just happy to be me despite the "mutations". :)

Gay Mormon said...

Me too! But Rogue probably is most like us in a way. Her ability made it so she couldn't have physical contact with someone she loved. In many ways, as LDS people, we have this issue that makes it impossible to have physical contact with the person we could love if we are to live our lives in ways that our leaders deem appropriate. Rather than us taking the life of the other person, however, it is more like we are taking our own lives by coming in contact with the person we love. We are told it will kill our soul and make it so we are unworthy to be a member of the church. When faced with those kind of consequences, I can see why many would opt for a cure and why I used to beg God for one.

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