LGBTQ Movie: Love, Simon

Would I really be a gay blog if I didn’t talk about Love, Simon? This post contains no plot spoilers, but some lines of dialogue re: Simon’s experience.

My First LGBTQ Movie on the Big Screen

Decorative. A cinema includes rows of empty, red theatre chairs.

First, let me set the scene. One of the best heterosexuals I’ve ever known asked to take me to this movie about a week ago. (Hey other heterosexuals with queer friends, take a page from my friend’s book. This meant the world to me.) After some deliciously greasy Culver’s burgers, we showed up at an NCG theater right before it starts.

As we walked through the door behind a small group of young teenagers, I suddenly felt scared. What if we’re the only ones here? What if my friend and I and these few teens have an entire room to fill? What if, on this film’s opening night, nobody shows up to watch it?

There’s a reason this is the first mainstream Hollywood LGBTQ movie. It’s not because filmmakers are scared to give the mainstream audience a queer character. They’re afraid to give the mainstream audience a queer character and not make money from it. This movie had to do well. If it didn’t, we might not get another.

We turned to find seats as the previews played and found it about half full. I let out a breath. People are here to see it. I was relieved and hopeful. Maybe this is enough.

Assessing Love, Simon

So, how did I like the movie? I loved it. I’ve been waiting my whole life for this movie. I knew I’ve been needing this, but I don’t think I realized quite how much I did. Although I’ve been out for a few years now—and very happily so—parts of me felt healed by this movie. I cried quietly while watching–more than I expected to.

There was a part in the movie after Simon came out to his parents, where he asked his mom if she knew he was gay. His mom tells him that she knew he had a secret. That as a child he’d been careful, and slowly he had changed. To the point where he’d looked afraid to breathe. These words were me. My adolescent years unfolded in a flash. Outside of friendships. Uncomfortable sleepovers. Skipped school dances. Changed behaviors that turned into a secret identity.

So much of Love, Simon reminded me of myself. Is this what it feels like? Seeing yourself onscreen? The experience of watching my story in the cinema for the first time, it was so cathartic and freeing. It was like, maybe for the first time, the world understood me.

Did you see the film yet? How did you feel about it? Tell me in the comments! See how it compares to the book.

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