Posted by Priyanjali Chakraborty
Based on 2015’s coming of age fiction Simon vs. The Homosapien Agenda by Becky Albertalli, Love, Simon is a teen rom-com set in an American high school where the protagonist is a teen gay boy called Simon and how his last year in high school changed his and his friends’ lives forever.
Soon after its release, the book started gaining support from not only the LGBTQIA+ community but from all over the world. The idea of having members of LGBTQIA+ as main characters and not as just a peripheral voices attracted the readers, and people from across the world connected to this story. This led to the decision to turn the story into a motion picture – Love, Simon. Love, Simon, directed by Greg Berlanti, was released worldwide throughout March and April 2018.
The film was supposed to be released in India on the first of June, but when people looked for tickets on that day, the movie wasn’t found on any listing. Only one online portal showed the movie when it was specifically searched for, but it didn’t have a ticket booking option.
The sudden decision to not release Love, Simon has disappointed many people. Nevertheless, people are trying their best to make the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) notice this unfair treatment to a simple teen LGBTQIA+ movie by creating petitions and trending hashtags like #LoveSimon and
#ReleaseLoveSimoninIndia on social media.
The sudden decision to not release Love, Simon has disappointed many people.
Coincidentally, June is also celebrated as Pride Month across the globe. This could have been a small step in India’s journey to inclusivity, but alas. Many parents are against the idea of letting their children watch “such movies” and the uncertainty of the release of Love, Simon in India only strengthens their misguided illusion.
The fact that sexually explicit movies get released in India on a daily basis and yet a typical high school romance gets pushed back because the characters are LGBTQIA+ is just fuelling the ill-conceived notions and ignorance that the general public has towards the LGBTQIA+ community.
Previously, movies like Unfreedom, Fire and The Pink Mirror all faced the same fate. These movies explored LGBTQIA+ themes in intimate ways and showed the audience the reality of the LGBTQIA+ community in society. Although many couldn’t grasp the concepts, the Indian audience has matured since then. Thanks to the internet, anyone can watch any movie online. However, that fails to serve the purpose of representation of the LGBTQIA+ community in the Indian cinema.
There is an avid need of LGBTQIA+ representation in India because every day, every second, someone gets bullied and harassed for being their true selves. The mindset that being gay or lesbian or queer is “Western culture” that the young generation are aping is one of the biggest challenges that the LGBTQIA+ community is facing right now.
There is an avid need of LGBTQIA+ representation in India because everyday, every second someone gets bullied and harassed for being their true selves.
A simple high school love story like Love, Simon, if not change entire mindsets, could at least show that being gay is normal and it’s not a disease or disability. This is the 21st century and yet we are still mired in the old rules which were set by the British. Ancient monuments like the Ellora caves have depictions of homosexuality in their carvings, but Indians still think being LGBTQIA+ is adopting foreign culture. Being LGBTQIA+ is being true to their selves, and accepting them means you’re accepting them as humans and acknowledging their rights which are equal for all of us.
Love, Simon has released across the major countries of the world like United States of America and Canada, Australia and New Zealand, United Kingdom and Ireland and Brazil among others. Indians still don’t know when the movie will be released, now that the previously mentioned date has passed without any further notice from the authorities.
Priyanjali is a twenty-something from the city of joy who loves stories, music and dogs.
Featured Image Source: Fox Movies