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Abstract

Ideology is an integral component in the reproduction of power. Integral to this central tenet of statecraft is the regulation of identity and proscribed methods of social engagement—positive portrayals of "good citizenry" and delegitimized representations of those challenging hegemony. Through an Althusserian and linguistic analysis, positioning the X-Men movie franchise as an Ideological State Apparatus (ISA), one can examine the lives of mutants portrayed in the text as indicative of preferred methods of state-legitimized sociopolitical interaction. This metaphorical and textual analysis is used to discuss the lived realities of queer persons resisting hegemony, and is located in the bodies and performances of those who resist assimilation and homonormativity and who challenge reformist LGBT organizations seeking rights for non-heterosexuals through further entanglement with the state. I explore the world of mutants and queers with the following question in mind: How can one utilize a queerly theoretical analytical lens while maintaining a discernable distance from reformism, homonormativity, and assimilationist reductionism? Both the fictional world of the X-Men and the lived queer reality reflect the state's efforts to dictate the borders of citizenry, the expression of grievance, and the performance of deviance, difference and stigma. Whereas the mutant narrative reflects statist ideals of a neoliberal, "politically correct" politics of integration, this agenda conceals an insidious denial of queer identity through the coerced conformity of "deviant" bodies. This discourse will be discussed through a variety of locales, including the performativity of gender and sexuality, the narrative of racial deviance, and the discussion of "passing."

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