Sixty-Two Films About LGBTQ+ Teens That Aren’t Love, Simon | The Pool:
It’s great that a film with a gay protagonist has created this much support and this much conversation. The problem is that there’s something fundamentally wrong with the conversation we’re having. In the marketing of this film – and the numerous think-pieces written about it – you’d be forgiven for thinking that this was the first film about LGBTQ+ teens to have existed, ever. And it’s not. Not even close. Yes, Love, Simon is a step forward as it is *takes a deep breath* the first LGBTQ+ teen romcom released by a major studio, but that’s quite a niche accolade. It’s important and great and it’s a good thing it exists, but it’s not as groundbreaking as the hype would have you believe.
And that’s a good thing! It’s great that there are loads of LGBTQ+ teen films out there already; it’s just important that, when talking about the progress we are making with Love, Simon, we don’t ignore them. For one thing, it erases the queer filmmakers who have been doing the work and creating these stories for decades, when big studios wouldn’t have dreamed of picking them up.
What’s your favorite queer teen movie? Read the full thing here.
The reasoning behind suppressing femininity in men’s skating was that if the sport looked like it was for sissies, no boys would sign up to do it. In retrospect, what a ludicrous proposition that was! Even the most masculine of skaters weren’t going to get fist bumps from the football team for doing “tough” skating to the Rocky soundtrack. Did they ever consider that a sport that leaned in to embracing femininity might actually attract the boys who don’t identify with traditionally masculine sports? Corner the market on those gentle boys! I’m certain that after seeing Rippon gyrate to club beats at the Olympics, a certain subset of boys are going to demand skates for Christmas, and they won’t know exactly why until years later. What a nice change of pace for queer kids to see a specific and joyful gay sensibility being celebrated rather than degraded!
Most people have never been exposed to anyone who explicitly identifies as asexual, not even in the fictional media they consume. At best, they’ve read the only well-known list of books featuring asexual main characters — ”Five Books With Asexual Protagonists,” at Tor.com — assumed there weren’t any more, and moved on. But the problem isn’t a lack of asexual characters in fiction. It’s that most of those characters can be found in indie published books, and most readers, even those in the asexual community, don’t know how or where to find them.
When heteronormativity erases context and subtext, it’s hard to feel represented. There isn’t a magical litmus test for what should count as authentic queer content. And that’s a good thing. And the queer community doesn’t need a pass from Straight Media™ for it to count as positive representation. But the fact that they are there for the queer community to see is important. Despite people trying to paint over it with a cis het brush. If there are people who don’t understand that Valkyrie and Ellie and Korra are super super queer, it shouldn’t—and doesn’t—discount how the queer community sees ourselves in these characters.
To you, it’s just a gay Disney princess where there could have been another straight one, but to someone else, that princess is the validation they needed that they aren’t some abomination or sinful mistake.