This seems a bit of a silly reason to break radio silence - but man, I have to say my piece. My life is so freakin' hectic at the moment, but fandom is a place of rest of relaxation - so what if I'm a *squee*-harsher.
I'm in the midst of writing a fic in the universe of "X-Men: First Class". I am slogging through it because I have a kink for being as historically accurate as possible when it comes to the portrayal of characters - yes, I do love "Mad Men". I haven't finished it yet, but I will.
This post contains very slight spoilers for "X-Men:First Class", you were warned.
The fandom for this movie is very sweet, I must say. Everyone is *squeeing*, there are fanmixes galore and the well, these young versions of Magneto and Professor X are very pretty indeed. It helps that the actors seem to enjoy fan service and go out of their way to cater to the subtextual narrative that is on everyone's mind.
And really, it is on everyone's mind. And article that came out yesterday titled Magneto and Professor X Had Sex at the Movies This Summer - Did You See It?
, in which the author goes on to lay wide open that which slashers see on an almost automatic level - the homoeroticism as homosexual - the emotional ties as romantic feelings.
It feels nice to have that reading acknowledged by the mainstream. Really it does. The queer and racial narratives of X-Men has existed since they began being published back in the Silver Age's Hey Day of the early 60's. Back then, it was much more subtle and the clues were there to find if you knew how to crack at that code.
Nowadays it seems as though the actors are given carte blanche
to play as gay as possible... without any acknowledgement of the fact.
I see it in "White Collar", I see it in "Sherlock" by Moffat and "Sherlock Holmes" by Ritchie and now in "X-Men: First Class".
The queer is part of the narrative, by virtue of many of the main/title characters being set apart from other characters who view them
as different and differentiated.
Neal from "White Collar" is outside the law.
Sherlock Holmes is outside human thought.
The mutants are beyond humanity itself.
A queer reading is practically mandatory, but in the way homosexuality is constructed in the media today, plausible deniability, in which the straight viewers reside, is built in.
Homosexual desire is hinted at, allegorised or played up for fan service rather than be showen (rahter than told, no one needs to "say" they are "gay". Okay!?) as genuine desire between people in a mainstream cinematic or television event.
The clues in "X-Men: First Class" can be read, as I mentioned, if you know the code.
"I thought I was alone", Erik says to Charles. So did the majority of queers until they met someone else like them later in life.
The tears the two men share, it is a heart wrenching scene, in which the pleasure of using their powers with each other (their so-called deviancy) and together is palpable.
On their so-called "Divorce" on the beach (a term I find extremely distasteful, considering the state of same-sex marriage around the world, the happy News from NYS notwithstanding, and especially considering the idea of queer sexuality being framed into the structure of marriage), they cry and embrace, but do not kiss, which would have happened between a man and a woman.
It being 1962, that makes sense, because public displays of affection between two men was highly ill advised when not in a specific queer place.Edited to Add
: And it's not as though it's that safe for us these days (these of so progressive days) either. Or that specific queer places are in fact safer than most. they're not
(link may be triggering). I'm somewhat shocked at myself for neglecting to say this, but I'll blame it on being focused on media rather than experience.
But the subtext that is being brought to the surface all the time, because it is being played up off-screen by James MacAvoy and Michael Fassbender (much like Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law two years ago) gives the illusion that queer representation in mainstream blockbusters is actually on the rise, when all it is, is badly concealed *wink-wink-nudge-nudge-say-no-more* titillation of the idea
Say no more indeed.
God forbid that instead of the phallic chess pieces between them, we saw an actual erotic embrace with a PG-13 appropriate fade to black.
But who needs actual gay superheroes?
Oh, and I hated the article linked above.
Yes, that was sarcasm. Now, I'm going back to fixing the Cuban Missile Crisis. It's gonna be a gas!