Love, Simon is a coming of age movie and a teen romance — but it also has the potential to be groundbreaking.
Like pretty much every other movie genre, it’s tough to find LGBTQ+ characters in teen movies. And when they are represented, LGBTQ+ characters are frequently relegated to “the gay best friend” (think Damian in Mean Girls) rather than the lead.
That’s one reason I’m so stoked to see Love, Simon — especially after watching the trailer approximately five times today. (OK, maybe that number is closer to ten.)
The film focuses on 17-year-old Simon Spier, a gay teen who hasn’t yet come out to his friends and family. He hasfallen for a classmate, but there’s just one problem: They met online and Simon doesn’t know his crush’s identity. Based on Becky Albertalli’s book of the same name, the movie follows Simon as he navigates both coming out and discovering the true identity of his online crush.
The trailer kicks off with Simon’s painfully relatable voiceover about the struggle of deciding when and how to come out as gay. As he points out, isn’t it a little weird and unfair that only gay people have to “come out” and make an announcement about their sexuality? The trailer’s conclusion — and my personal favorite moment — is a fabulous montage of characters telling parents and friends that (*gasp*) they’re straight. A girl who’s attracted to guys? Her mother is reduced to tears. The scene highlights the absurdity of fretting about your child or loved one’s sexual orientation.
Although we’ll have to wait until Love, Simon‘s release to see how Simon handles coming out, it’s encouraging to see a teen movie tackling this topic. Although life is, of course, not always like the movies, it can be incredibly validating for teens to see their own struggles depicted on the big screen.