I post this so often on twitter it’s been my pinned tweet for over a year. I keep it on my phone. But neither of those allow for the full transcription, so here’s a transcribed version.
One panel, many many word balloons. Colossus kneels, holding his daughter Chrissy Pride’s hand, looking up into her face as he speaks. Wolverine’s son Cameron stands in the background, arms crossed, but listening.
Colossus is the only speaker.
It always begins as a joke. Listen to me, both of you. One sees a father or a mother of whom they do not approve—and their brats won’t shut up and the parents are so exhausted that they just let their children scream, all sticking, and crying and hitting and wild.
And you say to your friends “you should have to pass a test to breed.” Do you understand? “You should have to get licensed to have kids.”
It starts as a joke.
Then perhaps there is tragedy. A postpartum mother who should’ve gotten help, but her insurance didn’t cover therapy. A father who erred because he was raised believing men are pathetic if they are caregivers.
The first tests are drafted.
And you think, “Good.” You think, “Those children will be safe now.”
The tests come out, and yes, there’s some problems, but nothing that cannot be ironed out, yes?
But now, anyone with a mental illness, with a criminal record, is barred from becoming a parent, and you think, “well, that is sensible, yes?” Because you’ve never known anyone like that, so who is to tell you they are not like they are portrayed in stories?
Sick, dangerous, criminal — those words expand. Suddenly it is anyone with diabetes, anyone with cancer, because they could die and leave their children orphaned, so how dare they ever try to have children? It is deaf couples, disabled couples, interracial couples, gay couples—because don’t they know how hard they’re making it for their children?
This it is whoever they want.
You think you are working for the greater good. You can’t even fathom the life of someone who isn’t exactly like you.
Then one day—it is you.
Some gene, some history, some past behavior—and suddenly, you too are sick dangerous, criminal.
Because the truth is this—human hate can adapt to anything.
You think you are safe. But if someone hates you, they will come up with the reason after the fact.
Only then do you realize what you put in power. Only then do you realize what you stripped away.
There is terrible power in a joke, in a story, in taking the truth and making it ugly.
Do you understand, children?