Love, Simon

Ah, a new generation’s coming out film. Only this time the film goes from indy to wide theater release with celebrities renting out movie houses for kids and their parents to see the film. We can and need to enjoy the progress while continuing the fight for full equality for all. The Greg Berlanti adaptation of Becky Albertalli’s gorgeous YA (Young Adult) novel, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda lives up to the hype. Before you watch, read the book. Newly crowned, Love, Simon, Berlanti’s film captures the simple, every-teen existence of Simon Spier navigating high school and his uncertainty about coming out in his picture postcard life. Simon has an easy life. What he doesn’t understand is why he has to come out and no one else does. Love, Simon becomes accessible by striking a balance between the characters. Yes Simon is white and privileged and male, but his story is universal and his friends are straight and many shades other than white. I realize it can be frustrating seeing yourself only in supporting roles. So I’m not minimizing that issue. I’m simply saying there’s power in telling these coming out stories to a wider audience using images society is comfortable with… cis white males and then absolutely following that up with stories about women, people of color, gender non-conforming, etc. I thought Simon worked on many levels and part of that was the accessibility of this film to straight white America. I live in a town with very little diversity so I understand the importance of visibility. Simon also excels at accessibility because the story stays simple and easy-going. No one gets beat up or threatened. Simon doesn’t lose his family’s love. But there’s still drama and angst which fuels the teen drama in familiar ways. I absolutely enjoyed Love, Simon and understand why it got such love when it was released. It’s out on DVD and streaming. Love, Simon will make you happy we live in a world where progress has been made. There’s still tons of work to do, but it’s nice to be able to take a break and enjoy how far we’ve come. Love, Simon is a tender reminder of the good things the world has to offer LGBT kids today. 4 out of 5.

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