I cried a lot watching Love, Simon. The scenes that made the tears flow all revolved around Simon dealing with being out, and others reacting. His parents’ reaction, especially, brought me to the point of straight-up sobbing.
In Love, Simon, we are lucky enough to get two separate scenes where Simon’s parents explicitly express their love and acceptance of him. Both of his parents talked to him about his coming out. Both of his parents made him feel loved and accepted. Both of his parents gave him the reassurance he needed, when his life was spinning out of control. His parents kissed him, and hugged him, and loved him. In that moment, Simon’s parents gave him the love he needed to stay steady, and to get through what he needed to get through.
I was crying my eyes out because of how beautiful and heartwarming it was to see that kind of love on-screen. But mostly, I was crying because I knew that a lot of kids didn’t get this kind of love when they needed it.
As Simon’s parents were hugging him and loving him, I was mourning. I couldn’t help but mourn for those of us who don’t have supportive families. Simon’s parents were telling him they loved him for who he was and matching that love with physical affection. It was beautiful, but a bittersweet feeling overtook me.
Once the movie ended, I shared my thoughts with my friends. I didn’t want to sound dramatic. But there are so many children who don’t have loving families, who don’t get positive responses to their coming outs,
who don’t even feel safe coming out, and I can’t help but feel for them. I can’t help but mourn.
“And there are so many kids who didn’t live to see this movie,” I said,
and I really hope others heard me and thought about that, at least for a second.
They were tough scenes to watch. I wanted to be happy, but tears of joy were replaced with tears of overwhelming sadness, for myself and for others.
I am glad for this movie in so many ways. I am glad that mainstream media paid so much attention to a lovely, beautiful, funny, romantic movie about kids being gay, and those kids being happy and loved. I am glad for the scenes I described above, despite my sadness. I am glad that, even though some children won’t get the love Simon got, at least they can experience it on the big screen. At least they can see how parents should react. At least they get the opportunity to mourn, like I needed.
If our youth can’t get the support they deserve from their own family members, they should find it elsewhere. With their friends, at their schools, from their teachers. And especially in their media. In the music they listen to on their way to school. In the shows they watch after a long day. In the books they read, curled up in their beds. And in the movies they go out to watch with their friends sitting next to them, sharing overpriced popcorn and red cherry slushies.
Let’s keep making and supporting movies like Love, Simon. If not for ourselves, for others.
PRR Writer, Matty Ortega
Check outPart 1 of our three-part Love, Simon blog now.