15 best LGBTQIA+ characters in movies

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Simon Spier (Love, Simon)

We’ve been talking about Simon Spier from Love, Simon a lot lately. He’s just your average, All-American teenager who happens to be gay, so what’s the big deal? That’s exactly why it’s a big deal: he’s just your average teenager, and he’s gay, and he’s the protagonist of a major studio movie.

Some people may not have noticed, but that isn’t a common occurrence in Hollywood. LGBTQIA+ characters, as demonstrated by this list, are either supporting players in major films, or the lead role in smaller films. Far too often, those queer films have tragic endings where the characters die or something else happens to rob them of their happy ending.

But in Love, Simon, Simon’s story isn’t tragic. It’s a teenage romantic comedy, where he has a good group of friends, he has a supportive family, and he goes to a decently accepting high school. Simon is an awkward teenage boy just like any other; he just happens to be gay.

Some may argue that Simon is just an example of white, upper-class privilege, which is a valid argument. Simon doesn’t have to face the struggles that some people — like Chiron in Moonlight — have to face, and that’s why it’s so easy for him to be a likable character. But look at it this way: if today’s LGBTQIA+ youth are constantly being told “it gets better,” then why are we constantly showing them characters who face extreme hardships? Why do we keep killing off queer characters in films?

Simon represents a changing tide in Hollywood that can sweep in a wave of new, queer stories. Some of them won’t be as positive, because that’s the reality that members of the LGBTQIA+

community have to face, but for now, we can appreciate Simon in all his mediocrity!