THE CANDLE

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a step towards equal representation

Love Simon, by Becky Albertalli, takes a step towards LGBTQ+ representation in todays media.

Chase Bakkensen, Reporter

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Becky Albertalli’s book, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, sheds light onto the struggles of a closeted teen. Simon Spier is a sixteen year old boy dealing with the everyday struggles of high school. You know, homework, relationships, extracurricular activities, blackmail. The everyday stuff. After accidentally leaving emails outing himself as gay open on a school computer, Simon gets blackmailed by one of his classmates who demands to be set up with Simon’s best friend, Abby, in return for keeping Simon’s secret.

When the inevitable conflict of teenage drama ensues Simon finds himself in a hard place. He doesn’t want to be deceitful with his friends but he doesn’t want his sexuality to be announced to the world like that, he wants to come out on his own terms. It’s his thing to do. His also wants to protect Blue, the guy he’s been emailing.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda was picked up by 20th Century Fox to become a full feature film under the name of Love, Simon. The film, directed by Greg Berlanti, came out in theaters March 16 and has made $27.7 million in box office. Love, Simon stayed true to its origins and provided a inspiring prospect on the difficulties of being a closeted teen in high school. While they may have cut some of my favorite scenes from the book, I had no trouble falling in love with the movie adaptations of the characters I’d already fallen in love with.

In both the movie and the book Simon brings up an interesting argument.

Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it shouldn’t be this big awkward thing whether you’re you’re straight, gay, bi, or whatever. I’m just saying”

— Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda

In the movie there is a scene, which just shows what is going on inside of Simon’s head, in which Simon’s friends came out to their parents as straight. The mix of unbelief and horror some of the parents portrayed shows insight into what LGBTQ+ teens may struggle in homes that are not accepting.

While this book and movie portray a picture perfect and accepting family, that in many of cases is very unrealistic. Too often teens who come out are not accepted by their families and are kicked out. According to the True Colors Fund, 40% of homeless teens today identify as being apart of the LGBTQ+ community. While this movie is a step forward in LGBTQ+ representation in current media it is only a step.

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