After I saw the film “Love, Simon,” I was asked if it pushed a gay rights agenda, and comments on Facebook I saw were against the film because of its subject matter.
“Love, Simon” is not that kind of film, not in the least. Yes, the main character Simon is gay, and so is his love interest, but the film doesn’t preach to us about gay rights and how the LGBTQ community should be treated or their fight for equal treatment.
The film is about a young man who is gay but has not yet come out to his family or his friends and finds someone else going through the same struggle as him. In providing encouragement and support for one another, they fall in love.
The problem is they do not know each other’s true identity because they are talking on a public internet forum and are using different names so nobody discovers their secret.
To make matters more complicated, a classmate of Simon’s named Martin, discovers the messages Simon and “Blue” are sending and uses that knowledge to get Simon to set him up with Abby, who is a close friend of Simon’s.
I thought it was clever to have Simon attempt to bring his friend Abby and Martin together. It led to some interesting and funny conundrums for both Simon and Martin, though ultimately, Simon’s inability to see what his friend’s real feelings and interests were — including his best friend Leah’s feelings for him — leads to disaster.
Although I found the plot to be engaging and smart, seeing how much Simon struggled to come to terms with having to tell the people he has known all his life that he is gay, opened my eyes to a point of view I will never experience.
There is a scene that really grabbed my attention and helped me to have an inkling of what it is like to come out to your loved ones.
In that scene, Simon is ruminating over the whole “coming out of the closet” idea to Blue and asks why being straight isn’t the thing that one needs to come out about. What follows is a hilarious montage — Simon’s fantasy of his friends coming out to their parents as being straight and of course, the parents all respond horribly.
It provided a paradigm shift of sorts and had me thinking about if being straight was not the normal thing, would I have had the experience that so many gay, lesbian and transgender teenagers have had?
I immediately thought of my brother, who is gay, and how he must have struggled through high school knowing that there was something different about him but wasn’t sure what it was, I thought about how he must have felt the day he told me and the rest of our family that he is gay, and how hard that must have been for him and for Simon in the film too.
You will have to go see the film to know what becomes of Simon and his love interest and how things turn out with his family and friends. It would be unfair to the film to spoil it.
“Love, Simon” is the kind of love story that is needed because it gives all who see it a point of view they would not otherwise experience. It is a film that’s message is not about the rest of society coming to terms with homosexuality, but about understanding that being gay doesn’t change the fact that everyone loves the same.