Teens Do Need a LGBTQ+ Movie Like “Love Simon”

Queer Teens Feel the Love

Kianna Koeppen, LETH Editor

I live in a pretty liberal and LGBTQ+ accepting area. But, besides that, I always feel scared whenever I come out to someone. It is not that everyone is homophobic, but it is still a question of “what if?” Someone could find out and ruin my life. I could tell just one wrong person whom I thought I could trust, but then they could go and turn their back on me.  I have a very accepting community around me in this great state of California, but that does not stop me from living in paranoia when I meet someone new.

When I heard of the movie Love Simon, I was thrilled. A current movie directly addressing being queer in typical American society and the struggle of coping which that and learning to embrace who you are which was something the internet, media, and I were very much excited for.

While queer people cherish being unique, the last thing that they want is to be the odd one out.”

— Kianna Koeppen

Despite the praise that the movie received in media and on the internet, an article released by Time magazine claimed that teenagers in this day and age do not need a movie like this. I could not disagree more. Present-day teenagers do need a film such as Love Simon because the world is not yet entirely accepting of LGBTQ+, and millions of people, especially teenagers and children, should know that it is okay to be who you are and love who you want to.

The article stated that teens live in such an accepting time for LGBTQ+ that there is no need for a move regarding LGBTQ+ accepting. Yes, today’s society is more accepting of LGBTQ+ people now than it ever was, but that does not necessarily mean that every single person in America is suddenly hanging a rainbow flag in their homes, let alone not making homophobic comments or seeing LGBTQ+ people as inferior. The article seemed to believe that the world is completely and totally accepting of queer people when this is clearly not the case. 

A friend of mine told me a story about how she was asked to participate in a video for a school project about queer people in sports. My friend refused to be a part of it because of the treatment she receives from her team. She heard comments and questions from her teammates that made her feel uncomfortable and marginalized. She is asked questions such as “who on our team do you find attractive?” “who on our team would you date?” or “would you date her or her?” along with many other questions that many queer people do not feel comfortable answering. It is degrading and causes queer people in situations similar to this to stand out. While queer people cherish being unique, the last thing that they want is to be the odd one out.

Teenagers are constantly being simultaneously pulled into adulthood and restrained by the ropes of childhood while also trying to figure out who they are and who they want to be, all while people around them are telling them who they should be. Being gay is just a burden when it comes the stress of being a teenager.

If any gay person is asked if they wish they were not gay they would say no because a vast majority of queer people are happy to be queer. Despite the pride most queer people have in themselves it does not stop the pain and stress and worry every single queer person goes through. A majority of queer people have laid awake at night thinking to themselves, “What is wrong with me? Why am I different? What is so different about me?” A movie such as Love Simon helps alleviate pain and worry. It makes queer and questioning teenagers feel like they are not alone.

While the movie is centered around an average stereotypical American boy and setting with which many people can not relate, it does reach out to those that do not live in the exact setting that the protagonist Simon does. It shows those questioning young adults that it is okay and perfectly normal to not just be gay, but queer as well.