Georgia State Legislature has passed a law that would allow businesses owned by people with religious convictions to deny employment and services to LGBT people and anyone else who "violates their sincerely held religious beliefs." The Walt Disney Co. and its subsidiary Marvel Studios has joined other businesses in threatening to stop doing business in the state if Governor Nathan Deal does not veto the law, which is currently awaiting his signature.
The X-Men did not have an openly LGBT team-member for almost their first forty years of publication. This was primarily an egregious act of self-censorship on Marvel's part, but it may actually have helped strengthen mutants as a queer metaphor. Where LGBT people couldn't be part of the X-Men's text, the experiences of LGBT people came to dominate the X-Men's subtext.
In the third of three essays examining the parallels between fictional mutants and real life LGBT people, I'll look at how the mutations themselves -- and the identity struggles of many X-Men characters -- served to underline the essential queerness of mutants.