Having grown-up in a predominately white upper-middle class suburb, the x-titles were my first exposure that my normal wasn’t the normal across the world. Prior to contact to Karma, of the New Mutants, a Catholic from Vietnam, it never occurred to me Catholicism could be a minority religion. The x-family was also my first introduction to other religions, such as Greco-Roman classical religionist (by way of Magma) or Islam through Monet St. Croix. Storm was my primer to the concept of diaspora, giving me a more complex view of divisions within ethnic and racial groups.
As I entered my teen years, and began searching for my group, the x-family was my judgement-free space to fantasize and explore. I began to take notice of the bent mirror between mutants and my inability to disclose and explore my orientation; no one had bothered to ask, either. The characters that allowed me to safely experience reality without repercussions were shape-shifters, Mystique, Copycat, or Morph/Changeling, because of their ability to be anyone and fit into any situation, which was something I longed for. By being able to change appearance, to literally become or match anyone’s desire, I’d gain the perfection that I had desired.