Why People Should Stop Asking Me If I'm Going To Watch 'Love, Simon'
My blackness and 'Love, Simon' don't mix well.
White Hollywood has found it's LGBTQ+ poster child movie in Love, Simon. It is a new movie that tells a story of a white high school kid who is trying to come out to his family and peers. And while that coming-of-age plot may be appealing to some, I am not interested in seeing it and I wish straight people would stop asking me if I am going to see it just because I'm queer.
First and foremost, just as most experiences that contrast between blacks and whites, the sexual awakening for black and white queer folks is two very different experiences. While I must acknowledge that violence is transcended amongst all queer folk, black experiences always tend to be a bit more violent.
Again, never to take away from the experiences of other queer folk, but there are clear disparities amongst whites and people of color. Homelessness, for one, helps to illustrate this. According to American Progress, over 40 percent of youth who are homeless identify as LGBTQ+. They also report that under that 44 percent of homeless gay youth are black, and 26 percent Hispanic.
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Secondly, in the film, Simon's love interest is black — and it's unsettling for me. By all means, love is love. However, it just adds to the long-running story of the hyper-sexualization of black bodies, especially in the gay community. There is a big fad amongst white men in the community wanting a black man for his genital size, while black and brown representation in the gay community and gay culture is undermined and/or swept under the rug.
Race relations in the gay community mirror the overall American societal structure almost completely. The only difference is there are a lot of rainbows and fake liberal smiles assuring ally-ship while invalidating your experiences. White queers lack understanding of intersectionality and how it affects those who don't share the same privilege as themselves.
Third, this is just a theory, however, I see white Hollywood seeing blackness as trendy, right now. Using black leads will get them more views and money.
Lastly, no one put this energy into Moonlight two years ago. Moonlight was the FIRST modern-day male-queer-centered movie to hit mainstream. They just didn't like it because it was black-centered with an all-black cast. Yes, it is was produced as an independent movie, but with it's popularity, it hit mainstream theaters pretty quickly. Also, independent films have been seeming to gain more popularity over the years.
So, no, I will not be spending my money to go see Love, Simon. I will not judge black and brown folks who go see it, but the movie just does not do it for me. With that, you can stop separating my experience as a black person and a queer person now. The two hold equal importance to me, and to separate them demolishes my experiences and my being.