Amber Stewart, you raise excellent points.
First, for background, I’m a gay man in my fifties with a history of queer activism. These days, I’m mostly a storyteller.
Like you, I’m happy that Love, Simon is mainstream and that it’s selling out theaters. The narrative of Simon’s story is important and it’s going to resonate with a lot of people. A lot of gay kids are going to benefit from it.
Also like you, I have concerns. I didn’t spend the better part of my life fighting for equality for queer people only to see mainstream society try to force us into molds that don’t necessarily suit us.
We’re winning our struggle to be free, but we haven’t necessarily worked out what that means for us. If we aren’t careful, we’re going to find ourselves trapped in a constraining cage of our own construction.
I have too many young gay male friends who are buying into heteronormative and cisnormative patterns of thinking and being without even realizing that there are other ways of existing and valuing life and relationships.
In some ways, I think some of us older queer folks tend to be more progressive and a bit more radical than younger LGBTQ people. I have to admit that that surprises me. I didn’t expect it and wouldn’t have predicted it 20 or 30 years ago.
I published a piece not to long ago that touches on these themes. I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts.