As I ascended from my chair in the movie theatre at the end of “Love, Simon,” my mother stated, “I don’t understand. Isn’t it cool to be gay now?”
To coincide with society’s liberal agenda and my mom’s primitive knowledge on the subject of acceptance, I simply answered “yes,” but I know the difference between great strides being made in the direction of tolerance and the achievement of said tolerance. The truth is, as long as society classifies its inhabitants based on their attraction to said sex, the default of heterosexuality will always undermine the homosexual minority. In a society that claims to be accepting of homosexual relationships, “Love, Simon” dismantles the notion that the stigma associated with homosexuality is a concept of the past and serves as a vital reminder of the struggle individuals must face in coming to terms with an identity not reflected by the masses.
The genius behind the film “Love, Simon” revolves around the setting that encompasses the protagonist, Simon. The normality of Simon’s life creates an ironic contrast with his closeted homosexuality. Surrounded by a supportive clan of loving and liberal parents, along with caring friends, Simon decides to conceal his identity as opposed to sharing it with those who would most likely accept him for who he is. Though his community stresses tolerance, the crux of the matter is that Simon shouldn’t have to feel pressured to come out when his straight counterparts are naturally accepted by society. In the spirit of rom-coms worldwide, Simon finally comes out to his community — in a way that leaves much to be desired, might I add — and embraces his overbearingly-acceptive schoolmates trying to right the wrongs of their original homophobic nature towards Simon.
In a perfect world, the societal standard would not need be constantly revised to favor or condemn homosexual individuals, but it would equate to the normality of the heterosexual archetype. Though individuals shouldn’t have to come out in the first place, Simon’s story is inspiring dozens of LGBT teens to reveal their truth to their friends and family after gaining courage from films like this.
As a society, we can’t change an ideology overnight. But, we can hope to be the force in a movement of sexual equality, beginning with the way these relationships are portrayed in media.