Hello and welcome to the first update of Queeroes, a series where I will write about queer superheroes, though it will probably end up extending into all media. For now, let’s focus on superheroes.
And this week, we’ll be focusing on my absolute favorite: X-Men. X-Men is basically an allegory for most minority groups. Some people say race, some people say queer, some people say disabilities. While I love all these ideas, I’m going to talk about the queer allegory.
There are some mutants who are able to hide their abilities, such as Professor X and Magneto. However, other’s are stuck having their abilities out in the open, causing them to be judged and even attacked. This is similar to sexuality and gender.
Let’s say Professor X represents being gay. Being gay is something you can hide. (It’s a shame most people have to.)
But then there’s Nightcrawler. Nightcrawler can’t hide his mutation, I mean, he’s blue! This can be similar to transgender people. Lots of times, it’s extremely hard for trans folk to hide the fact they are trans (due to cissexist ideals on how people should look but I digress.) In this case, Mystique could be considered a trans person who “passes” or “blends.” She is able to hide her ability, but she is still a mutant and could still be found out due to any slip ups.
Onto the queer superhero of the week! While I’d love to go on about, say, the possibility of queer feelings between Havok and Darwin in First Class (though Havok/Banshee is the otp) or even the entirety of the relationship between Professor X and Magneto, I’ll be sticking to just one character.
And that character is:
*drum roll please*
As you probably all know, it’s been revealed that Bobby Drake, or Iceman, comes out as gay in All-New X-Men #40.
After commenting on a female character’s “hotness” (in his words,) Jean Grey questions why he is hiding that he is gay.
While he’s basically outed, it’s still an awesome thing. Not only is Iceman a gay superhero, but he was one of the originals.
People were confused, as older depictions of Iceman identifies as straight, but I think it’s totally plausible. Often times, queer people have to hide it, so why couldn’t Bobby Drake be gay while saying he’s straight?
All-New X-Men writer Brian Michael Bendis commented on how the X-Men franchise is able to make this work. Due to time travel, there’s lots of ways a character’s story line can be developed past what we think we know based on installments from the future. In Bendis’s words, “This is just the first little chapter of a much larger story that will be told.”
So good for you, Bobby Drake! Even though Jean Grey outed you, I think it’s still awesome that you exist! Even if your future self has to claim to be straight, it’s still awesome to know the truth, because that in itself can be inspiring.
See you next time on Queeroes!