Recently, I have been seeing headlines like "Love, Simon Is a Groundbreaking Gay Movie. But Do Today's Teens Actually Need It?" from TIME Magazine, or others tweeting online they won't go see the movie because the movie was written by someone who actually hasn't personally gone through the experiences. To all of this, I call BS.
Sure, I have not seen the movie yet, but, I can recognize the importance of a movie like Love, Simon. As a proud 19 year old bisexual woman, I know a thing or two about the importance of acceptance.
Movies like Moonlight pertained to adult audiences. Sure, Teen Romance Comedies are cheesy and predictable, but to see someone on screen who goes through what many people in the LGBT+ community has dealt with or are currently dealing with? Coming out, scared of being accepted by friends, peers and family, while being a teenager in high school? This is something I would have loved years ago when I was figuring out what made me different than the straight girl next to me.
Love, Simon will be making history as the first film released by a major movie studio (20th Century Fox) that centers around a gay teenage romance. This is HUGE. For once, the "queer" kid isn't the sassy sidekick, or the punchline. The movie is centered around him and celebrates a community where even 10 years ago, was not praised to this degree at all.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda was written by Becky Albertalli and was published in 2015. One of the concerns I have been seeing by others is that Albertalli is not a part of the community and is indeed an ally who has never personally experience what a kid like Simon would go through. With a simple Google search, all of those concerns would go away. Becky Albertalli is the perfect ally we need and thankfully, have. Becky was a clinical physiologist for teenagers for years and led a support group for gender non-confirming children. Becky has said in multiple interviews that writing this book was a dream. She has stated that the story didn't come to her immediately, but Simon did.
Albetalli made this statement talking to Publisher's Weekly about her novel, "It’s so exciting to hear that, because you put it out there, a book about a gay boy written by a straight woman, and you hope it hits people the right way. I’m not coming at this issue totally randomly but I am an outsider, so when I hear it’s resonating with people who know better than I do, that’s good.”
Sure, Love, Simon might turn out to be a super predictable teenage romance story, but it is important we go out and support it. Whether you are a part of the LGBT+ community or not, change is here and we must support each other to prove we want more movies like Love, Simon. If we blow this movie off, it might be another 10 years until we get more major movie LGBT+ screen time. Hopefully, I see you at the theaters this opening weekend.