To My Readers: Thank You for Two Wonderful Years

To My Readers:

I have thought long and hard about what to say in this post, and after two weeks, I’m still no further ahead. So, I’m just going to say what’s on my mind and in my heart, and leave it at that.

This blog represents two years of my life. I spent countless hours researching and writing these posts, mostly into the very wee hours of the morning, Doing this work not only reawakened my mind and my imagination, it also put me back in touch with my sexuality/sexual identity. Due to all of that, I now am in school for LGBT Studies, and am re-entering the community actively next month. All of this has been the real payoff for me, and I am immensely indebted to X-Men and the films for helping me get back to where I belong.

I have not seen XMA, nor do I plan to. I became aware that there was no big Cherik moment or kiss when the film was released in Europe, etc on May 19th, and that the film had taken a lot of the character development routes I didn’t think they’d take. The level of heartbreak and guilt I’ve experienced over this has been fairly potent, and I’ve spent the last two weeks trying to work through that. It’s not just about a film/films to me, or about X-Men; it’s about heteronormativity, queer erasure, and subtext staying subtext when there’s no real need for it anymore. In short, queerbaiting. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been a bit out of touch with my sexuality, and out of the active community for a few years, that I expected more from XMA. In navigating and rediscovering my fluid sexuality/pansexuality, I’ve vividly recalled the times when I’d been gay bashed and experienced direct discrimination and bigotry, and in doing so, I’ve come full circle with the homophobic nature of society, and with Hollywood.

It’s with a heavy heart that I have to decided to not continue with any X-Men analyses, and will not be doing any posts on XMA. Should X-Men decide to take Cherik out of subtext in the future, or incorporate LGBT+ characters in the films, I’ll pick up where I left off. Until then, however, I have decided to move on and officially close this blog. To those of you who have asked if I will delete the X-Men work, the answer is no. It means more to me than just the films: it represents something precious and hard-won, and was the lens through which I saw the evolving LGBT+ community, which led me back into the desire for activism.

This is not to say I’ve given up hope, or faith. Not at all. If anything, it’s refueled my desire to bring to you all your culture, your films and shows, your books, and your history. You all deserve a place to immerse yourself in everything LGBTQIA+ when the outside world lets you down, and to be honest, I want the same thing. I do this not only for you and me, but for the people I’ll inevitably come across in my schooling and in my work.

I’ve met and talked with some beautiful people because of this blog, and your work, your words, and your encouragement meant more to me than I can ever express. There are a few of you writing XMA meta, and should you wish for me to share or reblog your posts, I’d be happy to do so.

I will eventually be moving all the X-Men archives to the new blog. I am still working on the template and the content for it, but since this letter represents my last post on this blog, I will go ahead and post the link at the bottom to Method Blue. 

Also, as of today, I will be taking a break from the online world. I’m not entirely sure how long I’ll be gone, but it will probably be a while. There are many factors that led to this decision, and I need time to work through everything. A lot happened all at once, both personally and professionally. I need to focus instead on my schooling, my work, the community, my family, and the new blog. I will not be “active” on Tumblr (or Twitter) during this time, and have set the blog to queue. I may respond to tags, but will leave messages and PMs for when I return. I am, however, still actively accepting submissions/fanfic recommendations to the new blog, so please continue sending those. You may use the old blog email address (charlesanderik2016@gmail.com) whilst it is still open, or the new email address (themethodblue@gmail.com). The latter is a private address, so if anything you send has personal content (including emails I’ve exchanged with a lot of you), please send it there.

I want to thank you all for 2 wonderful years. Thank you for accepting me into your fandom and your lives. I’ve had an absolute blast, and the work bore more fruit than I ever thought possible, even though we didn’t get a canon acknowledgment of Charles and Erik. I will always love Cherik, and I will always love X-Men. I see fandom as an active arm of social justice, filling in the immense cracks of the stories left behind by Hollywood, and bringing visibility to LGBT+ characters. Never stop doing that, ever.

Collectively, you are all Charles and Erik dragging Caspartina from the depths of the ocean.

I love you all very much. Thank you for everything.

 

Keep the Faith. Love is endgame.
-Heidi, charlesanderik2016

(new blog: Method Blue)

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7 thoughts on “To My Readers: Thank You for Two Wonderful Years

  1. Lane says:

    Your post was very moving and saddening. I have only known this fandom for a matter of weeks so I can’t imagine that heartache and resentment you feel after you dedicated two years to it. This ship definitely is one of the most powerful, well written and acted I’ve come across, and despite XMA I still believe Charles and Erik are canon.

    What is so frustrating about XMA is it completely contradicted the two films that preceded it, to the point that some of the dialogue didn’t even make sense. I still believe that these characters are canon, and here’s why: 1) Everything the creators have said to indicate that this is a romance 2) What the actors have said and the way they play the roles 3) everything in FC and DoFP (I could go on and on). One bad film does not erase everything that has already happened. I know zilch about the film industry, but I imagine there was some pressure from on high to heteronormalize the storyline, because DoFP basically just screamed gay. I noticed this the first time I saw the film with no former knowledge of this ship. I imagine it comes down to money and the studio’s fear of alienating fans and moviegoers looking for something “family friendly.” It’s beyond messed up but that’s our society. Still, I believe in my heart of hearts that the writer and actors see these characters as being “in love.” So whether they are officially together or not, they ARE canon. The characters are a product of their creators; thus their creator’s belief in their love is what makes them canon. I believe bigotry in our society and studio greed is the only thing keeping them apart. Their story is a love story. That’s all.

    It’s also interesting to note that XMA Apocalypse has such horrible reviews. Certainly some fans still enjoyed it for the action scenes. It did a good job keeping my heart racing, I’ll give it that. But the story was disjointed and it lacked continuity with the former films. I think one of the biggest downfalls (not even from a shipper’s viewpoint but just matter of fact) was that they shied away from the Charles/Erik relationship. I have seen many reviewers state that these interactions were the best part of the film, though sadly there few. The fact that they tried to rewrite history and create a relationship (Moira/Charles) hurt the film immensely, and even non shippers felt this. The only thing this relationship added to the film was a few moments of comedic relief (Charles fumbling with his words around Moira), but it definitely did more harm than good. Honest storytelling is good storytelling.

    I completely understand you not wanting to see the film. I walked out feeling disappointed and even feeling kind of tricked. However, I hope fans like you keep hope. I still think it is possible for this ship to sail. The studios fear the public reaction of making such an iconic character (hell two characters) gay. Just remember when JK outed Dumbledore, and it’s not like she even wrote scenes of him acting on his sexuality. People freaked. Also, based on my experience X-men has a bigger male fanbase and HP is more female (could be wrong – just my observation). And sadly, I think in general women are as a whole more tolerant/comfortable with LGBT characters than men (again could be wrong – my experience). The fact is- Cherik is real – there is just a hell of a lot of societal crap keeping them from “coming out.” But times are changing, and people like you are making a difference.

    That said (I know I am ranting now), I hope eventually you can see the film. Semi-Spoiler There is a scene near the end in which Magneto has a flashback of some of his most intimate moments with Charles and it brings him to tears. I see this scene as an epiphany of sorts. In FC and especially DoFP I saw how deep their relationship was, but I felt like the longing was a bit more on Charles’ end and not completely reciprocated by Erik. However, this scene to me was Erik’s awakening. He needed to get past all the ideological bullshit that was keeping him from opening his heart to Charles, and in this film he finally did. But Fuck. Worst timing ever. This happens almost simultaneously with Moria and Charles becoming a thing. Argh! That said, how many book and movie couples are long kept apart because the timing is always off, and they eventually do get together? It can still happen.

    Moira does not need to be the nail in the Cherik coffin. Firstly, while she may be important to Charles, she has always come second to Erik. Just consider the beach scene in FC. Erik holds Charles but when he realizes their ideologies are too different for them to remain together, he gives Charles to Moira – literally and emotionally. I think this scene says a lot. Erik comes first, and Charles only moves on to Moira when he thinks things are over with Erik. Erik gives Charles to Moira because he cares about his friend’s happiness, but he does so reluctantly and with regret. I could go on and on about how Charles puts Erik first, but I am sure you already know. In this film, Charle hasn’t seen Erik for years and Moira comes into his life again, so it’s natural he would want to reignite that flame. Then he finds out Erik was married… ah it’s just bad bad timing. When one is ready the other isn’t and vice versa. But there is not doubt they love each other.

    I hope fans continue to fight for this ship because I think the are canon but the only hope they have of actually getting to kiss and be together on screen is the studio, writers, and actors seeing that this is something the fans want. And while there may be a backlash among some bigoted individuals the response will be overwhelmingly positive. Gay Dumbledore didn’t destroy Harry Potter’s success just as outing Charles and Erik won’t destroy X-Men. In fact, it will likely make the fanbase stronger.

    Like

  2. sukee says:

    Sorry that your hopes in XMA haven’t been responded to.

    I saw the film, deeply believing in what you said, was obviously disappointed with the no cherik and immediately thought of you… If I was sad, I couldn’t imagine your reaction!

    I see the positive thing in that due to the lack of cherik, fanfictions will flourish with it! I hope you’ll still be looking for all the good stories that will come up, surely it will make you feel good again. Personnally, some fanfics are MY canon 🙂

    Anyway, I wish you good luck in whatever you wish to get into!

    Like

  3. koti says:

    Hey, I’m sad that I haven’t come across this blog earlier. The past few weeks have been great fun and I wish I could have spend some more time here over the last two years. I learned a lot not only about X-Men and will take that with me. Thank you!

    Like

  4. erbottom says:

    I’d lie if I said that this post didn’t make me sad. Your decision is your decision and nobody can make you change your mind. Thank you for everything you’ve written on this blog. I don’t know if you’ll read the comments on this post but I have to say, and I am 100 percent honest, that the way you’ve analysed these movies and the information I, and maybe others, have read these years on your blog worth so much more than what happened in canon. We’ve shared thoughts and it felt like we were a big family and imo this is what really matters. Of course, this doesn’t erase the fact that they didn’t do what we thought/ wanted them to do, but let’s forget about this for a while. It’s the best to move on. I will miss your posts and you as a person, I really got used to see you around. It’s great it’s just for a while. Best wishes!

    Like

  5. shin says:

    Actually there are Cherik moments in the movie, it’s just you need to wait until about 3/4 of the movie. Thank you for the X-Men posts. I have to confess that the X-Men archives are the only thing I read in this blog. No matter what, thank you very much

    Like

  6. Thank you for so much of your heartfelt passion for Cherik over the years. Since I’m a far more cynical person than you, I never fully believed that Hollywood would start acknowledging all of the many different marginalized people’s it’s been ignoring over the years. Cherik, Captain America, or DeadPool, any one of those would’ve been a wonderful start.

    But here’s the thing, through your efforts, and others just as vocal as you, Hollywood now knows about this issue why the public is unhappy with them, and what it is that all marginalized people want. Because of your efforts, I still remain positive that at some point, Hollywood will get off its lazy behind and repezent all of society, not just straight white dudes.

    Thank you for your work, and dedication. Go on, get yourself together, find your direction, and when you’re ready, we would love to hear from you again.

    SLAINTE!

    Like

  7. barakei says:

    You’ve been a lighthouse for this fandom in its most stormy moments.
    It may be paradoxical but XMA just served to me to demonstrate how right you’ve been all along. Because you are right, nothing can change this.

    And personally, you’ve been one of most precious and human encounters I’ve had online. I just want to apologise for any bad/depressed vibes you might have had from me.
    And an heartfelt, big thank you! For this blog, your works, your passion and your faith.

    Like

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