The world was delighted when X-Men starlet Ellen Page came out on Valentine's Day, but she wasn't the franchise's first openly gay cast member! Not even close!
Ian McKellen, a.k.a. present day Magneto, has been openly gay since 1988!
In the X-Men films, Ian's character fights on behalf of an unjustly disenfranchised group of "mutants." Well, that's no coincidence!
As it turns out, when director Bryan Singer approached the legendary actor and begged him to accept the role, he suggested that Ian view the mutants' plight as a metaphor for what the LGBT community endures in real life!
“I was sold it by Bryan who said, ‘Mutants are like gays. They’re cast out by society for no good reason… And, as in all civil rights movements, they have to decide: Are they going to take the Xavier [Stewart’s character] line — which is to somehow assimilate and stand up for yourself and be proud of what you are, but get on with everybody — or are you going to take the alternative view — which is, if necessary, use violence to stand up for your own rights. And that’s true. I’ve come across that division within the gay rights movement.”
Whoa!! We never even though of it that way!
Though most members of the LGBT community don't enjoy superpowers — except Matt Bomer who has the uncanny ability to make our britches stiff whenever we see him — there are definitely parallels to how the mutants are persecuted in the X-Men films!
You can see Ian, Ellen, and the rest of the fab cast when X-Men: Days of Future Past hits theaters on May 24th!
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