Last weekend, a new movie hit the box office called Love, Simon. It’s a cute romantic comedy following the plight of Simon, a closeted gay guy and his coming out adventure when he falls in love with another anonymous student through a series of emails. Although the titular character is white, many of the main cast are queer people of color and *SPOILER* Simon’s anonymous love interest turns out to be black as well.
The film is great for the black LGBTQ+ community and the black community as a whole because it shows these people as normal. It’s similar to the Black Panther success. Black people were excited to see themselves in roles besides slaves, drug dealers, and prostitutes! Similarly, queer black people who go to see Love, Simon are excited to see themselves in roles that depict them as accepted and a normal part of life instead of something to be ridiculed or killed off as many LGBTQ+ characters are in modern media. It depicts parents who are loving and supportive throughout the process, which often is not the case in black families. The movie also shows that being gay does not have to demasculinize black men (Academy Award winner Moonlight is another good example of this). However, it takes pride in those who choose not to be masculine and shows that that is okay too (Plus, the “stereotypical” gay kid got some of the best jokes in the whole d*mn movie).
Hopefully, Love, Simon is the beginning of a series of changes in the media that portrays people in the LGBTQ+ community in a more positive light and will help to begin breaking down the stigma of queer people within the black community. The same way the black community supported Black Panther with it’s purchasing dollars, the black and queer community should be supporting this movie as well. Want to see the film? Love, Simon is currently showing at Regal Cinemas in Atlantic Station.