Sunday, August 26, 2007

The X on My Chest

Watching the X-Men movies, I always thought that the "X" gene was a metaphor for the gay gene. That the evil Senator Kelly, who wanted all mutants to be registered for tracking, was a metaphor for a society that saw homosexuality as a disease that had to be "X"ed out, so to speak. Like the characters in the X-Men movies, I too feel as if this mutant strain called HIV has given me powers whose full extent I don't understand. Powers I am not always sure when and how to use. That I am afraid to use. Over the course of four years, I have grown increasingly empathetic. I don't claim to read minds, but I am acutely aware of pain and suffering in others. In these situations, do I keep silent and allow the suffering to continue? Or do I offer a kind word or a helping hand at the risk of being told to mind my own business? There are days, I admit, when HIV feels like the mutation that forever changed the life of Bruce Banner, aka, the Hulk. With a soul inside that's capable of tremendous anger, I feel there's no way I can get close to anyone at the risk of putting that person in danger. Like Bruce Banner, I roam and wander in the search for a cure. Among the X-Men, the character that intrigues me most is Mystique, the shapeshifter. They say that she has changed forms so many times that she can't remember the person she originally was. Your greatest power is ultimately your greatest weakness.

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