At the suggestion of Scott of Reality Cubed, I watched the seven-minute movie trailer for X-Men: The Last Stand. The movie’s story line appears to be a sensational, but somewhat oversimplified, mirror of the exgay debate:
If there were a medical cure for something that isn’t an illness, then is it ethical or humane to administer social rejection, discriminatory laws and involuntary medical treatment to accomplish that “cure”?
In a scene depicted in the trailer, a presumably loving father and conservative political leader with closets to preserve (or restore) is about to give an early dose of a newly developed drug cure to his mutant son. At first the son seems eager for a cure — or perhaps just resigned to it. But as the scene progresses, the son changes his mind — and the father tries to force the cure on his son anyway. The voluntary therapy suddenly becomes a handcuffed Love In Action-style compulsory treatment with an experimental, painful drug that will take away his mutant abilities. The son must then try to use some of his mutant abilities to escape.
I’m not familiar with the X-Men story line, but the exgay angle seems unmistakable in this scene and others that are included in the trailer. Village Voice columnist Michael Musto apparently agrees:
The most astute interpretation of the new X-Men movie, which deals with an attempt to normalize the mutants: It’s a giant metaphor for the ex-gay movement!
The simplistic genetic nature of the mutation in the movie may raise objections to an exgay allegory among those familiar with research into the origins of sexual orientation. Will audiences be willing to overlook clinical details to see validity in the mutant-exgay metaphor — or do flawed details invalidate the metaphor?
“If you could actually get rid of your special power which alienates you from the rest of the world, would you do it?” said Jackman, who reprises his role as Wolverine. “It’s a metaphor very much about intolerance, I think, fear of anything that’s different. If you could choose to not be Jewish or not be gay or not be African-American. Life maybe is not as easy if you’re a minority. Would you take the opportunity to change that if you could?”