Why the world needs to hear more about “Love, Simon”

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For the past few weeks, I’ve seen articles and various social media posts debating whether or not the film Love, Simon is a necessity. Titles such as

“Do we need Love, Simon?” or “Do teens need gay films?” are scattered across my social media timeline. I’ve seen countless cis-gendered intellectuals discuss whether or not the film is necessary.

Love, Simon is a rare mainstream romantic comedy about a gay teen.

Most films about LGBTQ+ individuals are indie produced, hard to get your hands on and/or Oscar bait. They’re often sad and difficult to watch.

Love, Simon is a breath of fresh air. It’s funny, a little campy, easy to watch and ultimately it has a happy ending.

So why are people downplaying the importance of this film and acting like it isn’t needed?

It’s true, we are oversaturated with mindless romantic comedies and we’ve probably all seen too many in our lifetimes. Yet, you rarely see articles about whether or not we need the latest Reese Witherspoon rom-com.

We do need films like Love, Simon and these articles prove this to be true. They are so rare, and there are many young LGBTQ+ individuals who crave the media representing them.

The gay teen protagonist has a happy ending. The reactions to him and his sexuality are ultimately positive. Films and stories about LGBTQ+ individuals are rare and important.

The film isn’t about the experience, cinematography, colour palette, score, or anything else that draws people in to see other LGBTQ+ movies. The film is just a regular story about a gay boy being happy.

Representation matters.

People are even coming out because of this film. They see it with their parents or their friends and the reactions of the people with them encourage them and make them feel safer about their identities.

One of the main actors, Keiynan Lonsdale, publicly came out as bisexual because of his involvement with the film. The director, a gay man who’s been out for 20+ years, cried after seeing the final cut — because even he needed to see it.

Artsy films like Carol or Call Me By Your Name are important for the community. They represent the LGBTQ+ community too. However, the difference with a film like Love, Simon is that it’s meant for just anyone to watch.

It’s easy to access, in theatres all over the place. The trailer for it is regularly aired on mainstream TV channels.

Another important thing about Love, Simon is that the protagonist isn’t a stereotype. He’s a unique character that is wholly recognized. He feels like any character from a teen film with the exception of his sexual orientation.

The reason these things are so important is because LGBTQ+ individuals deserve to see themselves as mainstream and accessible.

Not Oscar-worthy, depressing, artsy, or part of a subculture, but ultimately just normal.
   The people seeing this film in theatres are just regular people who want to enjoy themselves by watching a film.

The film isn’t about the experience, cinematography, colour palette, score, or anything else that draws people in to see other LGBTQ+ movies. The film is just a regular story about a gay boy being happy.

If it’s normal, why are we, the LGBTQ+ community, freaking out about it?

Well, because we’ve never had something like this. There is such a severe lack of representation for LGBTQ+ people in film that we crave films like Love, Simon. We need and deserve films that tell our stories as normal and enjoyable.

We need this movie.

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