'Love, Simon' Was Just BANNED In India

7 June 2018, 14:53 | Updated: 19 November 2018, 14:23

Love, Simon
Love, Simon. Picture: 20th Century Fox
Woodrow Whyte

By Woodrow Whyte

*sigh*

Love, Simon was a landmark film. It was the first queer teen film released by a major studio, marking a turning point for LGBTQ representation on the big screen, especially for young, queer people.

It also proved that LGBTQ stories can be profitable at a mass market level. According to Box Office Mojo, the film has made $57.5 million so far, after an initial $17 million production and marketing budget.

Unfortunately, not all countries have been as tolerant towards the LGBTQ message of the film. As reported by Gay Star News, the Indian Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has reportedly banned Love, Simon for its depiction of gay relationships.

via GIPHY

The film was due to be released in India on June 1 but when cinema-goers tried to book tickets to previously announced screenings, they were no longer available. The CBFC reportedly banned Love, Simon because the film's gay content.

That hasn't stopped people in India campaigning to get the film shown. On Twitter, people are using the #ReleaseLoveSimoninIndia to raise awareness of the issue and an online petition to overturn the ban has been created.

"India is considered as a progressive country but still hasn’t scheduled the release of Love, Simon in the cinemas despite the movie being released in majority of the countries", the author of the petition writes. "It’s been more than 2 months and the LGBT+ community has been patiently waiting for the movie which finally gives the community some representation."

"India has lacked a mainstream powerful representation of its LGBT+ citizens for a long time. Although not Bollywood, this film could not only encourage LGBT kids to come out, but also educate parents about what it means to be gay, lesbian, bisexual etc. This film could have a tremendous impact on the country’s perception of what it means to be a part of the LGBT+ community."

It's a sad reality that important films like Love, Simon will not be available in many places in the world with oppressive laws against their own LGBTQ communities. Recently, Kenyan film, Rafiki, was banned in Kenya because of its lesbian storyline.

One way or another, we hope Love, Simon and other queer films like Rafiki make their way to queer communities around the world.