Less than a month ago, “Love, Simon” came out in theaters and became a huge hit around the country because of its upbeat portrayal of a teen’s coming out story. However, many conservative Christians are reserved about seeing the film. Some parents are conflicted about whether or not they should allow their children to see it because of its affirming message. While this is an understandable concern from an evangelical perspective, the church and Christian parents may be missing out on an opportunity to see this film as a healthy conversation starter.
Recently, a friend of mine was conflicted about whether or not he should take his 16 year old niece to see “Love, Simon.” He knew she would be going to see the film with or without him, but he wondered if by taking her he would be affirming the movie’s message. As Christians, we should approach movies like these as opportunities for discussion and deeper engagement with the LGBT community. What if life groups and families decided to go see “Love Simon” together and followed up the movie with an open discussion?
What if life groups and families decided to go see “Love Simon” together and followed up the movie with an open discussion?
The film has received high praise partly because of its exploration into the insecurities of the main character. We see his fear of other people finding out about him, which is an extremely relatable experience for LGBT people. We also see a diversity of experiences, from an LGBT person who has been out and proud for a long time and how that even further affects the main character’s sense of self worth. The film has the major potential to give each person a honest and real portrayal of what LGBT teens go through. As well, with only a few kisses in the film (both same- and opposite-sex), characters aren’t as sex-obsessed as they many times are in teen movies.
Let’s talk together and let each other share what we liked and didn’t like about “Love, Simon.” Let’s be candid about the topics present within the movie and not be afraid to approach them. This is especially important for families to do. By humbly listening to our children’s thoughts and questions about LGBT issues, we gain the opportunity to gracefully speak and share on the topic as well. As said in Posture Shift, we, as Christians, in the coming years will only be able to continue to uphold our stance on sexuality and marriage, and be heard on it, if we also uphold a posture of radical love and willingness to listen.
Altogether, “Love, Simon” presents what LGBT teens go through in the process of coming out to their families and communities. Let’s take this opportunity to discuss how we can love, reach out to, and walk alongside LGBT people in our sphere of influence.
Suggested Discussion Questions
Here are some questions that may help propel discussion after seeing the movie:
- Do you feel the movie was a good representation of what LGBT teens go through when coming out? Why or why not?
- How can we include our LGBT friends in our family? Is our family loving people who are different?
- Do you think Simon’s parents handle his coming out the right way? How can we learn from their approach? What would you do differently or the same if a loved one came out to you?
- What can we do to make LGBT people feel less stigmatized and more welcome?
- Have you ever used derogatory language when referencing an LGBT person? (think about when Simon’s dad refers to gay men as fruity and makes Simon uncomfortable) If so, how can we use kinder language when it comes to the LGBT community?
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