The 'Love, Simon' Connection Is Refining The Conversation On Identity
Start writing a post

The 'Love, Simon' Connection Is Refining The Conversation On Identity

The film has reignited the conversation on finding acceptance and love.

The 'Love, Simon' Connection Is Refining The Conversation On Identity

“You can exhale now.”

Being called the most significant film ever, Love, Simon has contributed a lot to the conversation regarding coming out and how to find acceptance in that. The film has also done a bit more than just being a coming-of-age “gay film.” It has helped people find the strength to be proud of who they are in a world that can be harsh towards these differences.

Nick Robinson stars as Simon Spier, a 17-year-old high school student who has yet to come out as gay to his family and friends. Simon starts a flirtatious online correspondence with “Blue,” an alias for another closeted student at his school, and spends most of the movie trying to find out who Blue is and protecting his secret from a classmate threatening to out him when he finds Simon’s emails. High school is seen as a place where young teens are starting to forge their identities and adjust to the changes happening all around them. Regarding coming to terms with sexuality, it can be a difficult and oftentimes scary road to navigate through. It takes a lot of courage and confidence to affirm that this is who you are, and to be able to say how proud you are of yourself for saying it out loud is an amazing thing. While Simon has the right to come out on his own terms compromised, kudos nonetheless can be given to him for making this realization about himself.

The film does a great job depicting how to handle when a teen comes out, particularly when looking at the parents. Simon’s parents, played by Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Garner, are both warm and accepting of Simon. The film shows how each parent individually processes Simon’s coming out. Garner’s scene with Robinson was the most captivating performance in the entire film. Her character reiterates Simon’s previous statement that he is still the same person he has always been, and adds on that he gets to be “more him than he has been in a very long time” and he “deserves everything he wants.” These words are so powerful for another person to hear. Even if it does not have to do with coming out, people can feel validated by them and told they are loved unconditionally. Those facing hardships in their lives do deserve what they want because they have had to suffer in silence and without help for so long. A universal message is conveyed that we all deserve love and happiness.

Simon's father shows a different perspective to accepting a child. Many parents want their children to succeed and have this image of them in a heterosexual relationship. It was natural for Duhamel’s character to feel disheartened upon seeing that image of Simon disintegrate when he came out, being that he has such a close relationship with his son and kids around with him about girls like fathers tend to do. Duhamel’s scene has him saying he never suspected anything different about Simon, then understands there was never anything different about him, to begin with. Parents who see the film are in luck to have adults present who have such a positive impact on their child. Unfortunately, there are cases where parents are not so understanding of their child’s decision to come out or of other issues such as mental illness or self-esteem. Duhamel and Garner indirectly advise parents how in times like these, children rely on their parents during these crucial moments and simply need to be told that they are loved no matter what.

I am particularly keen on the amount of representation the film has. For example, the film’s characters vary in race and religion. This is so important for viewers to have characters that resemble them to expose to them that there are people in the world who are X, Y, and Z; the film allows groups who are underrepresented to be given a chance for their voices to be heard. Ironically, Simon also does not fit the stereotypical gay male despite being the straight man of the movie. His portrayal is important to tell people that not all LGBTQ+ act the way they are depicted in the media. They are human with real dreams, flaws, emotions, and most of all, deserve to be treated equally.

Love, Simon informs viewers of the power in being able to tell your own story. Having the film told from Simon’s point of view takes us very deep into his journey in a digital and real-life landscape. The online conversations between Simon and Blue are taking place in what for them is a safe space to express themselves to each other. Today, the Internet has become a place for youth to connect with each other in order to find peers going through similar situations and look for signs of hope, tips for coping, relationships, etc. When Simon is outed, he has to revert back to interpersonal relationships to preserve his story. It is an opportunity for him to bring to light what he has kept hidden for so long — pieces of what he has shared with Blue. Individuals like Simon who have to resort to alternative means of communicating with people who relate to them find themselves more stressed over how to reintroduce themselves after making their issues known, such as coming out publicly.

It should be emphasized that the environment should not be forcing people out of it based on dismay for their choices or feelings. Rather, acceptance is needed more than ever to let these people know there is absolutely nothing wrong with where they wish their lives to go and there are ways of dealing with things out of their control. Such encouragement can help make the person’s story even better and even leave it with a happy ending.

Love, Simon has changed the game in the way LGBTQ+ and individuals that feel out of touch with society to be given the bravery to redefine their roles. Coming out needs to be approached with the sense that it is people taking charge of their lives in the pursuit of self-honesty. In other cases where people do not feel they fall in a certain group or cannot overcome certain challenges, there should not be any pressure for them to conform and should be supported in their efforts to find answers. The conversation is generating awareness and education on issues that affect young people need to be refocused to better address that their problems are real, leading to the hope of instilling a higher quality of life.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments