Contains possible spoilers about ‘Love, Simon’…
I saw ‘Love, Simon‘ a few weeks ago at an advance screening here in Charlotte. I loved the movie. Particularly, because just like Black Panther, it was something that I identified with and was able to see it in a major fashion, in a normal theater, around everyday people. Not on Netflix, alone, buried in the depths of hell where you have to know a special cheat code in order to unlock it (OK, that was dramatic, but we all know there aren’t many mainstream movies about the LGBTQ life).
The movie, as great as it was because of the representation, did fall a little short on the “spectacular” meter overall, but that’s fine. I didn’t need amazement, or some over-the-top fanticization (made up word) about being a closeted gay kid in high school who didn’t know how to be himself towards others. It was a truthful, heart-felt movie that resonated within the audience. Especially myself.
I can’t imagine how many times I’ve felt the same was a Simon, the movie’s title character, during high school and college. Kind of wanting to be out there, but not really knowing how (only I covered it up for most of that time). Simon, fortunately, was more comfortable with himself at this point of time in the movie than I was back in the day, but he just didn’t really know how to live his truth out. He more so just really didn’t understand why he actually NEEDED to come out. Like, why is it a thing? Even in the movie there was this montage about his friends coming out to his parents as straight. I’ve felt this exact way multiple times, and until this past October when I wrote my post Happy National Coming Out Day, I never really felt the need to do so.
But looking back, I wish I had…
“Who you are to the world is pretty terrifying because what if the world doesn’t like you?”
“Who you are to the world is pretty terrifying because what if the world doesn’t like you?” This is literally the single most best quote that sums up how I felt growing up. High School was intense and you just wanted to be liked and not ridiculed. It didn’t help that I was probably already a little weird to the “non-cool” kids and I just kind of sort of fit in. I was so terrified to even explore who I was in that realm because, 1. I denied the hell out of it, and 2. I did that because I was scared of how I would be looked at. But you all already know that from my other posts, I won’t go into detail here.
Simon, kind of the lone wolf in his own mind, was able to explore a little part of himself once another kid from his school decided to anonymously post a message about being a closeted gay kid on the schools message board. Simon decided to message him and open up to him anonymously as well about being just like him. Simon was finally able to be himself, and explore a feeling that’s he’s had for a long long time. Over the course of the next few days they messaged each other back and forth and eventually became very fond of one another. It was sweet, beautiful, even.
Since Simon’s admirer was anonymous, Simon had to live out his love stories within his imagination. I can’t even count how many times I’ve thought that some guy who wasn’t remotely interested in me was, and it felt weird. It was like these “unnatural” thoughts were going through my head and I just never really felt comfortable doing that. This movie normalized that for me. Straight people do it all the time, why can I? “I’m done living in a world where I don’t get to be who I am. I deserve a great love story and I want someone to share it with.”
“I’m done living in a world where I don’t get to be who I am. I deserve a great love story and I want someone to share it with.”
And this is when I knew enough was enough. Simon captured this sentiment so well and it truly resonated with me. I was tired of hating myself for wanting to love who I wanted to love. Was I any less deserving?
Obviously, the answer is No…
So at that time, I was tired of suffocating. As Simon’s mom had said, “These last years, it’s almost like I can feel you holding your breath,” (I held my breath for sooooooo long) “You are still you”. As I’ve stated before so many times, I’ve realized that I’m still the same person, gay or straight, and if anybody else didn’t realize it, then that was their fault. When I told my mom, there was a clear sense of sadness(?) (for lack of a better word) but she also shared these same sentiments. And I knew at that time everything would be OK (I may have shed a tear or two at this point…I might be shedding one right now, lol).
“These last years, it’s almost like I can feel you holding your breath. You are still you, Simon”
One of the lower points in the movie, Simon is outed by this guy who was blackmailing him (I won’t go into details) and this caused a lot of loneliness for Simon, due to some fucked up shit he caused in the first place and this is something a lot of young gay men and women have to deal with. Speaking from a personal standpoint, I’ve been outed plenty of times and I’ve also outed some people myself (which I’m super not proud of at all). But another quote that stood out from the movie was “I’m supposed to be the one that decides when and how and who knows, and how I get to say it, that’s supposed to be my thing!”. And he’s right. No one should take that away from anyone who wants to make that decision. However, Simon stood his ground and regained control of his “coming out” story even though it was already made and at that point, he realized that he was no longer afraid.
“I’m supposed to be the one that decides when and how and who knows, and how I get to say it, that’s supposed to be my thing!”
So Simon gets to live his truth, and in the end is able to encourage his anonymous love interest to live his as well. There were some rocky/inspiring/emotional parts in getting to this point, but I really didn’t want to give a review of the movie itself, but I just wanted to describe why I feel that this movie was important to me. I hope it inspires a new generation to be who they are, and inspire others to accept people for who they are. Regardless of race, religion, color, creed, and sexual orientation.
I highly suggest you go and see this movie. You will enjoy it. You will cry. You will smile. You will get angry. You will lose all hope in humanity. You will gain it back. Your heart will be full.