Why the Movie, "Love, Simon" is for Everyone

This new movie has gained quite a buzz since it's debut, and even managed to score an astounding 92% rating on rotten tomatoes. It has elicited many emotions from viewers - from tears of happiness and pride, to feelings of love and admiration. It's considered by many as the gay movie that our generation needs. 

That's right, the movie "Love, Simon" has gained popularity among young adults and families alike, and has quickly become the romantic comedy that gay teens didn't realize that they needed until now. Love, Simon sets the bar for being the first ever teen film to feature a gay protagonist, and a teen love story at that? Even better! As a queer person myself, I feel as if I have seen and read countless storylines of the same love story: a girl falling for a guy, or vise versa. There was no storyline in sight of a young queer individual finding love. I applaud the director and producers of this movie for choosing to expose a reality that many, many people all over the country - and world - experience: growing up and realizing that you aren't straight. 

Despite the movie becoming a popular favorite among the LGBTQ community, I would like to stress the fact that "Love, Simon" is not just for the gay community, but for any and everyone who has found themselves in a situation similar to the protagonist - surviving high school, peer pressure, rumors and concerns about self-image and identity. There is a relatable moment for everyone in this movie, no matter how they identify. 

Without giving too much away, there are a few tear-jerking scenes in which Simon has a conversation with his parents about his sexuality. I believe that this scene in itself could be enough to help a kid somewhere who may be struggling with coming out, or may be adjusting to a new dynamic after coming out. The movie not only helps the viewers gain insight into the life of a closeted gay teen, but also sheds light on his relationship with his parents, sister, and friends. Therefore, it is easy for many people to be able to relate personally with at least one character in the movie, because of the role they play in the main character's life, or even a few personality traits, which keeps the movie lighthearted and fun. 

This is just one of the many reviews that teens have written, expressing that seeing this movie has helped a family member understand life from their eyes, and in turn created a stronger relationship. There may be a line, a scene, or an emotion expressed on screen that could resonate with them, and in turn could help them understand how to be a better ally towards someone in their family who may have recently come out. For many, it may be worth a trip to the theaters that could potentially help mend a strained relationship due to differences of sexuality (that shouldn't really matter, in the first place). This movie is a great example that nothing should change if someone were to come out, that they are they same person that they are known to be. Someone's sexuality isn't the end all be all. It is something that is natural, healthy, and should be accepted and celebrated - not hidden or avoided.

"Love, Simon" is the movie we needed to break the overwhelming influence of heteronormativity. Why is it okay to show young love, but not young gay love? There are so many young adults, and even full grown adults that could have used this movie while growing up. For one, it could have made them feel a lot less ashamed of themselves because of their sexuality, and could have encouraged them to live more openly and without fear. It might just even be the extra push someone in the world needed to come out to their friends and loved ones.

In addition to promoting acceptance, this movie is a great example for how to be a good ally. If you are an individual that identifies as straight but may have a gay friend or family member, then this movie is definitely worth a watch. Again, it is a great way to gain insight into the life of a teen who struggles to keep a normal aspect of his life as a secret. Learn from this movie. Learn how you can be there to support your loved ones after they come out, and don't hesitate to protect them against any bullying or acts of discrimination. 

I would love to believe that this movie is only the beginning. We need more movies like this. We need to shed light on the many types of orientations, identities, and backgrounds that everyone possesses. The little girl growing up needs to know that it's okay to have a crush on another girl. There is a young boy somewhere who is searching for people on the big screen who are the same as he is. When movies like these are created, it helps individuals find comfort in themselves, and learn that it's perfectly okay to be who they are. 

"Love, Simon" is not just for gay teens. It is for everyone who wants to learn how to become an ally, how to stand up towards discrimination and it is a learning opportunity for families. Support this movie because it is a glimpse of the future, and our future is bright. 

 

Images: cover, 1, 2