With Baste Duterte & Bong Go riding a jetski in the uncontested Benham Rise, President Duterte proclaiming he wouldn’t hire a politician or a woman as his next Chief Justice, & the fact that there are more teachers or students killed by guns than active-duty military deaths this 2018 in America thanks to another school shooting, it hasn’t been a great week. But that shouldn’t stop me from looking at the bright side, because it is the only way to keep me sane. Inspired by NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour, let’s take a look at what’s making me happy this week.
I saw two pieces of entertainment that made me so happy it made me forget we live in a miserable wasteland – one of which is seeing Changing Partners on the stage – but let’s focus on Simon for now.
Simon, as he mentions early in the film, lives a normal life. He has a loving, supportive family & a group of best friends he hangs out with. He doesn’t get into trouble nor is he failing in class.
But what many people don’t know is he’s gay, and he has no plans of coming out any time soon.
Everything changes when someone at his school shared an anonymous online confession with the pseudonym “Blue” revealed that he’s gay. He decided to contact him in order to meet someone who shares his ordeal. Soon enough they’re both sharing their dreams, anxieties, & intimate thoughts. He finally found someone whom he can show his true self.
But his lifeline is in danger when Martin, his oblivious classmate, accidentally read these emails & used it to blackmail Simon, so he can become closer to Abby, one of Simon’s best friends. Simon is left scrambling as he tries to turn Martin & Abby into a couple while hoping Martin wouldn’t reveal his true identity & ensuring his correspondence with “Blue” never ends.
Adapted from the young adult novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Love, Simon is a sweet high school romantic comedy that just happens to focus on a closeted gay kid. It’s keenly aware how important the act of coming out is for closeted non-cishet folks & what the consequences are for revealing their true identities, while maintaining a funny, sentinmental vibe with its sharp zingers & cringe-inducing moments.
And yet, what stands out about it the most is how typical & inoffensive it feels, even though it focuses on queerness. We still live in a world where members of LGBTQA+ community are discriminated, abused, or even killed just for existing. The fact that a major Hollywood studio decided to release it worldwide turns the movie’s normalcy into a transgressive act. Hopefully a day will come where a movie like this isn’t subversive anymore, but for now, let’s hope that those who haven’t came out yet have seen it, and give them the courage to reveal who they really are; or at the very least gave them the comfort that everything will work out if they did.