It's good to be mutant
June 02 2006 12:00 AM ET
X-Men: The Last Stand is a fine movie. As I sat
watching it at a midnight showing with my niece and
nephew, I thought had it all I could ask for in an
action movie: cute people, lots of things blowing up, hey,
even an openly gay actor as the supervillain.
While the movie
is weak on plot and dialogue, it does poise an
interesting question: Should we “cure” those
who are not “normal”?
In the movie, a
“cure” is found for the mutants. With this
magical elixir, one quick injection makes the mutants
“just like everybody else…human.”
The government says it’s a voluntary thing, and only
those mutants desiring the cure will receive it. Then,
of course, they weaponize it, attack mutants, and a
war between humans and nonhumans ensues.
As I sat
watching, I couldn’t help think of the editorial I
wrote several years ago called “We Like
Sheep” from my book You Can’t Say That!
In that editorial I asserted that I do not support the
“study” of homosexuality from a
standpoint of genetically figuring out why people are
gay. We don’t have a disease and don’t need a
cure. And since no one is doing research as to why
people are not gay, I think it’s far too
slippery a slope to risk.
As I heard the
gorgeous Halle Berry as Storm start a tirade--“Who
said we need to be cured?… Why do we need to be
fixed?… We’re not a mistake;
we’re fine the way we are”--I couldn’t
help but take a mental note that these would be the
same arguments heard should the “cause” of
gayness ever be found. Because if it ever was found to
be genetic, make no mistake, someone would come up
with a “fix.”
On the way home,
my 19-year-old nephew and I got into quite a row. You
see, he doesn’t really see a problem with finding out
the genetics of being gay; after all, he claims,
“it’s not normal in nature.”
Now, why did this
make me so angry, and why did it hurt me so? I mean,
both my niece and nephew are as gay-friendly as they come
and always have been. Not once have they made me or
their other uncle, the late Andrew Howard, feel
awkward at all. In fact, they live with me now at our family
home in Long Beach, Calif. And here was someone I completely
trusted to not be homophobic talking about how
research should move forward. When I asked him about
research into being straight, for instance, why is he
heterosexual, his reasoning against it was
“it’s normal, in nature, it’s
what is, and we mostly research the abnormal.”
That stung. It
still does. And it exemplifies why I feel so strongly that
we should not open the Pandora’s box of genetics
surrounding homosexuality. Here is a perfectly
well-adjusted guy, someone I know in my heart not only
loves me but would go to the mat for me at any point in
his life, has stood up for me in his school, has written
essays supporting pro-gay legislation, accompanied me
to Sacramento to testify for AB25 (the bill, which
subsequently passed, to allow same-sex partners to sue
for wrongful death) after Andrew died and I needed to sue
and didn’t have the right, and rejoiced when
the appellate court gave me that right.
He is one of the
joys of my life, a true member of a family forged from
love, not blood, and one of the most well-adjusted youths
I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. And yet,
he all but said gay people were mutants.
be clear, we are. It’s a fact. We are a biological
anomaly. Years ago, when I worked at KFI AM 640 Los
Angeles, Dr. Laura, our station mate, got in to
trouble for calling gays a biological error. I told
Laura then (yes, we speak) that her mistake was her choice
of words: She should have said biological anomaly.
Since we are less than 10% of the population in nature
(or pick a number, since it seems to be arbitrary, but
you get the point) we are, in fact, freaks.
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