In the Shoes of Another

A couple weeks ago, we had to watch X-Men: First Class for English. Mind you, this is 1B, which is supposed to be advanced.

But I’ll not go off on that tangent…

Here’s what I got from it: Cherik is the most amazing ship outside the 007 cinematic realm.

Yes, Charles and Erik are my new ship. It is a horribly tragic ship, but I’m sold. It took me a while. Even after I got over my Evangelically bred homophobia I still didn’t buy it, mostly because I’d read the comic books when I was young and just couldn’t picture it at all. But, if X-Men: First Class isn’t a total Cherik ship…well, I don’t know, I probably will just live in denial and pretend it is.

As any good shipper knows, the first thing you have to do after falling for a ship is to come up with some sort of story to prove your point. My story, should I choose to write it, would start with Charles’ relationship with Raven. She obviously has a crush on him, and he’s obviously oblivious to her charms, no matter her form. If your looking at it thinking Charles is het, he just seems like a jerk, but in my tragic ship, Charles is honestly not attracted to any woman. He’s in the closet about more than just his mutant abilities. But he chases skirts because that’s what’s expected of a handsome, young, rich, doctoral student in 1960’s London. He doesn’t chase Raven’s skirt, because he actually loves her, but just as a sister, because women just really don’t do it for him.

Enter Erik…begin tragedy.

When I was a girl growing up in the church in the 70s and 80s, I heard a lot of bullshit about gay people. One of these was the preposterous notion that if a gay man would have sex with a woman, that would fix him. For hundreds upon hundreds of years, gay men have forced themselves to marry women in order to appear normal. It was hell on them, and hell on their wives. But, hey, that’s what god commands…or is it just the hell he commands? I get confused.

The same went for lesbians. They were forced to marry men and copulate with them, even though they found them disgusting and repulsive. That made for great marriages, I’m sure. ::rolls eyes until they fall out of head::

The modern religious, or non-religious, homo-phobe is sadly incapable of trying to see it through the eyes of those who are in these very real situations. When I left the church and my world began to open and I gained more than just one or two LGBTQ+ friends, I was forced to ask myself, “Self, along with everything else you were forced into, marriage, children, etc., was this het thing forced on you too?” See, I grew up a tomboy. I liked guy things. I liked them a lot. So maybe, I thought, I was wrong about my sexual orientation. So I thought about it, considered it from various angles and came to the conclusion that…there was no closet to come out of, regardless how beautiful I think Boy George is. I like guys. I was born that way.

But this thought process forced me to realize that attraction is a real thing. And, though I don’t have a problem with a woman who is attracted to another woman, I cannot force myself to feel the same. I just don’t. And she can’t force herself to look at a man and see him the way a het woman would, not even if they guy was Chris Evans.

Chris Evans GIF-downsized

We talk a lot about seeing things from another’s point of view to get their perspective and understand them, but I doubt the religious folks who freak out about LGBTQ+ have bothered to get outside their own biases and prejudices to see just how much harm they have caused by forcing people who find the opposite sex repulsive to enter into marital relationships. I have a friend whose husband was a closeted gay. He married her and had children with her so he could appear normal. Finally, he had enough. But he was such a horrible and bitter person by then that he abandoned them completely. If the church wasn’t so weird about this issue, think of the pain and misery that could have been prevented over the eons.

And what about trans folk? This is a real thing, whether you want to believe it or not. These kids feel like they are in the wrong body from a very young age. You can accuse the parents of whatever you want all you want, but this is not a new “trend.”

I was reading a biography of Elizabeth Cady Stanton for a recent research paper. The woman’s childhood reads like that of a trans-boy. Her father even admitted at one point that she should have been one because she was just like a boy. Now, I’m not saying she’d have been less racist than she was had she been allowed to be a boy like she obviously wanted, but she might have been less bitter in her pursuit for woman’s suffrage. But when Stanton was a child, trans was not a thing, and homosexuals were not discussed.

When I think of all the pain that men and women have suffered simply because books that have absolutely no basis in reality, be it historic, archaeologic, or scientific reality, claim that some invisible guy in the sky hates certain behavior (which just conveniently is the same behavior the people who follow said books hate), it really upsets me. Religion claims to be a way to love others and be kind and good. How loving or kind or good is it to force a guy to marry a woman when he has absolutely no attraction to women? So he suffers, she suffers, and their children suffer.

I think this needs to end. I think it’s time we all grew up and approached each other without the biases from our invisible sky buddies. Let’s look at the facts instead. Countries in Europe that have been accepting of LGBTQ+ people for longer than we have, are still standing. They  haven’t gone to pot, as the religious right would like us to believe we will. In fact, many of those countries have better health-care, lower poverty rates, and better education systems than the US.

Another time I will go into the tragedy of religious parents kicking their LGBTQ+ kids out simply because James Dobson and Franklin Graham told them to. Yeah, like it’s contagious or something. Idiots.

In closing, I will share my two fave Cherik vids. If you know my bizarre obsession with Bond, you will understand why they are my faves.

(I think she slowed the music to avoid copyright issues)

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