“Fiction is the truth inside the lie” (Stephen King). Superhero movies were made to show what life was really like, even when people were trying to cover it up. In the 1900’s, people lived a specific way. Nobody talked about their feelings and families consisted of a mother, father, and children. White men had the most power and money. But in the 1960’s a comic book came out, called X-men, and it changed that status quo. X-men has all different kind of characters and they are different because of their looks and beliefs. People who had been discriminated for their race really connected with the books. Also, LGBT groups connected with them because it showed how being different was okay.
Before the 1950’s everyone had a certain way a living. People had to always act like they were happy and they had the ideal of a perfect family, with a husband, wife, and kids. Nobody talked about their feelings and everyone was married. While the father worked, the mom typically stayed at home and did things around the house. She prepared meals and cleaned up messes. But in the 1960’s people started trying new things out and everything was changing. There were people who did not want change though so people had to fight for what they want. Women, minorities, and LGBT people had to fight for their rights. They could not vote and did not get equal pay or education compared to white people. In the X-Men movie, all the characters were different and they feared by people who wouldn’t accept them because of their appearance. African Americans went through the same thing. Both groups were separated but to different extents, but there was still forms of segregation.
In the books, each kid was born with a unique genetic mutation. In a place filled with hate and judgement, they are feared by people who can not see their differences. They are led by Professor Xavier and the X-Men fight to protect a world that fears them. But then there is Magneto who thinks that humans and mutants should never live in peace with each other. M-men: First class shows Xavier’s and Magneto’s fight for mutant rights and it compares to the U.S. Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Professor Xavier is a character who represents Martin Luther King Jr. Both of them believed that the way to fight against the discrimination were through peace. Xavier wants to protect the world and prove that they are not bad. Martin Luther King fights back without violence to also show they are not bad. Magneto represents Malcolm X because both of them do not think that they should be nice to the people who judge them. They save the humans by using their powers and showing they are not as dangerous as people think they are. There are anti-mutant groups, like Friends of Humanity, which is shown to represent real racist groups like the Ku Klux Klan. They have both changed how people look at them even though they did not make it completely better for them.
People judged for their sexuality also connected with X-Men. Iceman comes out to his parents as a mutant, his mother to ask if he’d tried to not be a mutant. It was a situation where any gay person who has come out and been asked if they’ve never tried being with people that were different genders, or has been told that their sexuality will only last for a little bit. In the third movie, there is a plot about “cure,” which there is none. The same thing has happened when people come out and say they are gay or lesbian. There are about 10 LGBT X-men. Northstar was the first gay superhero in Marvel. Northstar has been a teacher to other mutants like him, such as Anole. He has been fighting for equal rights too. LGBT people do not usually come from families or communities like that so they may feel like they do not fit in. The X-men feel the same way because everyone around them is “normal.’ Many people related themselves the them and could “see parts of themselves” in different characters (The Vulture). This movie has helped discrimination against people’s sexuality, not completely but it has helped a lot.
The X-Men movie has shown that being different is okay but in order for change, you have to fight for it. Reach out to your President or Governor and tell him how you feel. Ask him to make more rights for people who are shamed on for being different. More protective laws could make life easier for them and give them more equality.
Article by Kelcie Bonal
Adams, Ben. “The X-Men and Civil Rights.” Overthinking It, 20 June 2013, www.overthinkingit.com/2013/06/19/x-men-civil-rights/.
Marvel. “The Queer Subtext of X-Men Shines Bright at Flame Con.” Vulture, www.vulture.com/2016/08/chris-claremont-on-the-x-men-queer-subtext.html.
Outmagazine. “X-Men Series ‘The Gifted’ Needs to Trade in LGBTQ Allegories For Actual, Queer Mutants.” OUT, Out Magazine, 17 Jan. 2018, www.out.com/television/2018/1/17/x-men-series-gifted-needs-trade-lgbtq-allegories-actual-queer-mutants.