Simon has a secret. He is gay.
He admits this to, Blue, a secret pen pal. Neither he nor Blue knows who the other is. The two connected after Blue published an anonymous confession online. Simon responds under the name Jacques. For the rest of the movie, Simon wrestles with the decision of when to “come out” to his parents, his friends, and to Blue.
Love, Simon, Supergirl, Beauty and the Beast, Andy Mack, and Call Me By Your Name, to name a few, are all successful film and TV releases that have advocated to take homosexuality and bi-sexuality from edgy outliers to culture cool.
There is much to enjoy about Love, Simon. Simon’s parents are happily married. His sister is an “up and coming” young chef. Simon has a healthy relationship with his family. Interestingly, on two occasions, the producers of the film let us know that Simon’s dad was the star football player in high school and his mom, the homecoming queen. Simon has a healthy relationship with all of his friends. Everything about Simon’s life seems “normal.”
I found myself cheering for Simon early on in the movie. I like Simon. I want Simon to be happy. After all, as the tagline of the movie suggests, everyone deserves a great love story.
But, isn’t this exactly the take-home message with which the writers and producers of the movie wanted me to exit the theatre? In the film’s quiet advocacy for homosexuality, I realized I was focused less on Simon’s sexual orientation and more on a story about a teen wrestling with his personal journey to love himself and to be loved. Though Love, Simon did have many warm and fuzzy, feel-good, tug-at-your-heart family moments (the conversation Simon and his dad have in the backyard after Simon “comes out” is extremely moving), the film’s intention is clear – to normalize teen homosexuality.
This is where the film provides for much opportunity for parents to initiate a healthy conversation with their very impressionable teens. Whether you or your teen see this movie, I encourage you to discuss the issues this movie highlights as it relates to healthy marriages, sexual orientation, and same-sex relationships.
As you tackle these issues with your kids, here are four questions to consider asking:
Is happiness the desired end result or are there other questions needing to be answered as it relates to my dating relationships?
Does, as the tagline of Love, Simon read, everyone deserve a great love story?
What does scripture say about the topics raised in Love, Simon?
What should our response as a family be to Love, Simon
I also encourage you to emphasize to your children that no topic is ever off-topic for your family. Simon struggled with the choice to talk or not talk with his parents about his sexual orientation. Communicate to your kids that there is always an open-door to discuss anything…anything! Let them know that you will always welcome their thoughts, concerns, and struggles.
[Jeffrey Dean is one of the top motivational speakers in the country. He has spoken to over 4 million throughout the United Staes, Mexico, Panama, Canada, Haiti, and Guatemala. Jeffrey Dean has extensive experience powerfully affecting the lives of people of all ages. Do you need a Christian speaker for an event? Contact us to schedule your next church or other event…]