“Love, Simon,” one of the most influential movies to come out in 2018, has sparked important conversations between members of the LGBTQ+ and the rest of the world.
Simon, played by Nick Robinson, shows the struggle of a closeted gay teen in high school, and the film reveals how he copes with his friends, family, and society not seeing the full version of him.
The love story is an interesting one, with Simon falling in love with the mysterious Blue, who is an anonymous closeted kid at his school that he shares emails with.
“Love, Simon” is controversial for a myriad of reasons, like homophobic viewers or members of the LGBTQ+ feeling wrongly represented, but there’s a lot more praise for the movie in the media than there is hate.
Jaxon Cassity, senior, thought the movie was heartwarming, and it also gave him a sense of home to watch it. “I just happen to be gay,” Cassity joked, “and there a lot of similarities there, between coming to terms with it myself and having my parents accept me, and with what Simon went through.”
Cassity isn’t the only teen who feels they can relate to the message of this coming-of-age tale. This movie is giving a platform for closeted kids to feel better about their situation as well as giving all LGBTQ+ kids someone like them on the big screen.
Hayley Allison, junior, believes this movie is sparking a positive change among LGBTQ+ kids and their families. “It definitely gives straight parents an introduction to what their children are going through,” Allison said.
When asked about the success of the movie, teens are quick to point out something like this hasn’t been done before. “It’s one of the first widely popularized movies centered around a (confirmed) gay character,” Allison said, “It helps show teens they aren’t alone!”
Movies in the past haven’t been a wide source of representation for this community, and “Love, Simon” is finally showing a gay character as someone relatable: someone realistic, without stereotypes.
“I think, on occasion, the stereotypes can be fine,” Cassity said, “but it’s such a breath of fresh air to see something closer to reality. Like, a lot of people see being gay as being feminine, and that’s not true. And watching this movie, Simon isn’t feminine.”
Having a romantic movie like this with a gay main character is revolutionary and really shows the change the world has undergone in the past few years. This doesn’t solve every problem in represetation of the LGBTQ+ in mainstream media, however.
Emma Sanders, senior, wants representation for more than one gay white male in one movie. “Where’s my unsexualized lesbian movie?” Sanders asked. “I want a cute movie like ‘Love, Simon’ for a lesbian or bi girl, and no more overly sexualized lesbian media.”
Hollywood has a long way to go before becoming fully diverse, including LGBTQ+ people as well as people of other races and genders than the societal norm.
With the success of the movie, it’s the hope of the LGBTQ+ community that more like it will follow in the near future, and mainstream media will continue to accept diversity and change.