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Longtime X-Men Character Comes Out as Gay In New Comic Issue

The X-Men series has often been used as an analogy to the discrimination faced by black Americans in the past, and by the LGBT movement in the present. But now, the parallel is becoming more overt.

Bobby Drake, the longtime X-Men character known as Iceman, comes out as gay in All-New X-Men #40, which releases tomorrow, April 22nd.

According to the leaked pages for the issue, Bobby reveals his sexuality in a conversation with the telepathic Jean Grey. Although Bobby has dated women in the past, including fellow X-Men team member Kitty Pryde, he’s apparently wrestled with his sexuality for years. He even theorizes that he could be bisexual, a notion which Jean rejects completely, noting that Bobby is “more…full gay.” Poignantly, Bobby theorizes that he was unable to come to terms with his sexuality in the past because he was already ostracized for being a mutant without being gay as well. It speaks to a deeper fear of further rejection that Bobby endured in his youth — a fear that caused him to reject who he truly is. And all it took was a trip into the future (just roll with it) to help him realize that he was doing himself a disservice by rejecting his true self.

Longtime X-Men Character Comes Out as Gay In New Comic Issue

Credit: Marvel

(Check out the full leaked pages of Bobby’s revelation at Advocate.com)

Say what you will about the heavy-handedness of making the parallels between mutant oppression and LGBT marginalization less subtle, but I think this actually could come across as an inspiring tale to any young comic book fans who are similarly wrestling with their identity. As long as it’s tackled with maturity, I think this could be a great storyline, particularly since the big takeaway here is that being gay doesn’t define Iceman. He’s more than just his sexuality, just as he’s more than a mutant.

All-New X-Men #40, written by Brian Michael Bendis in his farewell run on the series, hits shops on Wednesday. It will also be available digitally through Marvel.com and comiXology.

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