I want to talk about Love, Simon. But first I need to talk about another queer coming-of-age movie.
When I was 16 my best friend and I stayed with my dad for the school holidays. On that trip, we went to Video Ezy and rented some of the trashiest movies we could find, determined to turn the entire two weeks into some sort of extended sleepover. One of those movies was But I’m a Cheerleader.
It was everything 16-year-old me wanted in a movie – awkward humour, flipping the bird to gender roles, and cheezy declarations of love.
It was also HELLA gay.
The forest is magnificent. Giant yew trees reach for the sky, their leaves sending dappled sunlight down toward the moss-covered floor like a parting gift. Even Shiloh can’t deny the majesty of the place, as much as she might have preferred the wood around her a little more dead, with four legs, and holding up a tankard of beer.
But alas, good things apparently come to those who wait. And wait. Shiloh sighs, pulling her pelt more securely around her as she shifts into a warmer patch of sunlight.
“Are you almost finished?” she asks. “It’s nearing dusk, my love.”
The nearest tree is a monster. As thick around as three broad men standing in a circle, arms outstretched, fingertip to fingertip. It hides Shiloh’s wife from view. Just.
The boy watches from his dias, ruffled dress pressing in uncomfortably on all sides. They insisted on a corset this morning, ignoring his winces as the maid pulled it tight around curves that are becoming harder to ignore. It wasn’t the first time he had borne this sense of wrong as someone worked to present all the most awkward parts of him to the world. After all, he is the princess, and with that title comes certain obligations.
Including, apparently, suffering the groggy afternoon heat as a goatherder’s son tries to tug an ancient sword from a stone.
My sometimes daily, sometimes weekly (and very aptly named) Daily Weekly Comic tackled the Australian marriage equality plebiscite last week. It involved talking flags and a joke meme from The Office because I’m still not 100% on drawing people and memes are the height of humour, fight me.
There were three different posts, but one, in particular, got a bit of attention.
I’ve had a lot of support for it; a lot of people virtually high-fiving me with likes and shares because they Get It, man. They too have had to take a big fuck-off sip of beer after someone has said something stupid.
And I’ve had the other ones.
As I look around my Facebook feed, I’m noticing the plebiscite has begun its reign of terror – people left and right debating with great aplomb whether myself and others like me deserve the right to marry.
I’ve seen a good number of allies go to bat for queer rights, and I’m so, so grateful to you for it. But if there’s one piece of advice I can give you that may save you a stress headache and me a mental breakdown it’s this:
Do away with words like “belief” and “opinion”.