X is for:

X-Men

Apart from the fact some of the characters are objects of lust for gays and lesbians everywhere, the X-Men films have struck a very loud chord with our community because many of us can relate to the themes of being different and experiencing prejudice.

The films (the third in the series opens 25 May) are about a group of people with genetic mutations that give them super-human powers.

The mutants are ostracised from society and their families, while politicians do their best to see them treated as second-class citizens.

The first two films were made by openly gay director Bryan Singer, who has said his membership to two minority groups -“ he’s gay and Jewish -“ greatly influenced the films.

Just like the mutants in the movies, A gay kid doesn’t discover he or she is gay until around puberty, Singer told the BBC.

And their parents aren’t gay necessarily, and their classmates aren’t, and they feel truly alone in the world and have to find, sometimes never find, a way to live.

Xenophobia

It seems like anything goes with the gay community when it comes to race.

When Hong Kong-born Gary Lo told the Star about xenophobia on the gay scene last September, he exposed an ugly but underreported side of this supposedly inclusive community of ours.

Lo’s accounts of open racism in bars and at events like Mardi Gras exploded the myth of an always tolerant rainbow community -“ and he wasn’t alone.

Three years earlier, a group of Sydney gay men launched a Sexual Racism Sux campaign to take on xenophobic language like No GAMS [Gay Asian Men] on online dating profiles.

Despite that campaign and an anti-racism forum co-organised by Gary Lo last year, community xenophobia seems alive and well, as tags like No GAMS persist on gay dating websites.

Short of a fresh anti-racism campaign, the best solution could be social groups like Silk Road and Asian Marching Boys.

The latter’s Mardi Gras entries are always a refreshing antidote to community narrow-mindedness.

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