“Love, Simon” is to be Loved

Richard and I went to see Love, Simon last night. We both enjoyed it. I’ve decided I loved it and highly recommend it to everyone. I’d almost go to say it should be shown to all high school students as it captures the high school life and angst pretty well.

The movie has love, drama, teen angst, revenge, regrets, deceit, forgiveness, hope, unrequited love, disappointment, and it will make you tear up at the raw emotion between characters and in the aloneness one can feel at times.

As a gay high school kid, it also portrayed what it is to be gay and closeted during all those years. Simon portrays the feelings of wanting to be a part of the larger group, “passing” very well, but always having to code switch, hide feelings, and often being afraid of losing what he had just because of, what really is, one small piece of who he is as a person.

I knew I was different from a very young age, actually around five. Don’t ask how to describe how I knew, because that memory is lost, but I do remember knowing I wasn’t like the people around me.

The good thing is, I’ve always been the kind of person who didn’t think much about what people thought about me. I was going to just be me as honestly as I could. My promise to myself was that, once I knew the word gay and what it meant, if anyone openly asked me if I was gay, I would be honest. But, no one ever did while growing up, even when I would stand up for people who were different or who were assumed to be gay. The first person who asked, a relative stranger at the time, I did tell, albeit a bit awkwardly because it caught me off guard—thank you Rob.

There is one scene in the movie that is stuck in my mind (warning spoil alert, skip to next paragraph if you don’t want to read about a key scene), is when he tells a classmate how angry he is about the betrayal of this classmate. Simon essentially tells the boy he has stolen something from him. He stole his right to chose when and how he comes out to the world, which is a very private and very courageous moment one must make for oneself. The classmate didn’t have the right to take that away from Simon.

This was an emotional scene for me, not only because of what occurs in it, but knowing the coming out process is a life-long, and sometimes draining, decision. It doesn’t just happen once with one person and its over, everyone now knows. No, it is a continual decision-making process throughout one’s life. The decision must be made when making a new friend, starting a new job, being at a party, when a stranger on a plane starts talking to you about family, and any number of other usual life events and occurrences. And yes, sometimes I say nothing, nod my head, or put on my earphones. I do that because when talking about my husband and kids, I don’t know how the other person will react—even more so in today’s political climate.

With empathy being in ever shorter supply, my own opinion based on my own observations in my travels, stories I hear and read, and professional/personal experience, I recommend everyone go see this little movie. My hope is it might help all of us see another’s perspective on love and life. Movies, and books, are good for offering different perspectives, which is why I love them so.

Go and enjoy a good life story movie. Just remember to take some tissue. You know, just in case.

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