I needed to see Love, Simon. My specific ministry focus on LGBT+ outreach dictated that I see it. But more than my ministry focus, even as an almost middle-aged married man with same-gender attractions since pre-double digits, I needed to see it.

I know that Love, Simon is “Side A,” or affirming, and does not mention Jesus — minus some swearing. I am also keenly aware that this movie could lead a teen on the fence between faith and sexuality to abandon their faith.

But I walked out of Love, Simon truly blessed by God for having seen it.

Spoilers ahead.

The point of the movie is this: you shouldn’t have to hide you are. You should be able to be honest about every part of yourself and be accepted and loved for it.

And your friends and family should be the biggest supporters of your life as you do so.

Simon struggles to find this support. He closes off private and significant parts of his life. When all of his friends talk about their romantic interests, he must remain calm, overcome disinterest, and feign heterosexual desires. He’s afraid of what will happen if/when people find out he’s gay.

When Simon opens himself completely to an anonymous online pen-pal, “Blue,” he finds a new joy he hadn’t known before. And he quickly falls in love.

Then, because life isn’t perfect, Simon goes through a season of blackmailing, outing, shunning, mockery, and depression. He forces himself to come out to his family and shuts out everyone, especially after he loses “Blue.”

He slowly regains his relationships. His family surrounds him with love and acceptance. His friends forgive him for the past and embrace his new identity. And even his school takes a stand for treating others with respect.

The movie, of course, ends with Simon meeting “Blue” and getting his romantic happy ending. The movie ends with Simon, his boyfriend, and his best friends as happy-go-lucky teens with bright futures ahead of them.

So, how did God bless me through this film?

One scene did it. The scene between Simon and his dad. Watch the clip below:

Simon’s dad’s words — “I just want you to know that I love you. And I wouldn’t change anything about you.” — hit me in the theater.

I realized those are the words I’ve always wanted from my own father. Those are the words I’ve wanted from my brothers and leaders at the church. And they are the words I’ve longed to hear all my life — that I am loved and accepted for who I am.

Now, I know Christians like to pull out the phrase: “God loves you as you are, but He loves you too much to leave you that way.”

Honestly, we need to retire that statement. The only thing God wants to “change” is my using all of myself to glorify and obey Him. It’s not about changing myself — it’s about changing my actions. And there’s a difference.

What I do does not define me. What I do flows out of me — and because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, I do things that honor and glorify God.

Jesus told the Pharisees to clean the inside of the cup; He didn’t say to make a new cup. He told the woman in John to “go and sin no more,” not “go and change everything about yourself.”

As I’ve searched the Bible, I see where God grows and develops us. I see that we are to be “transformed by the renewing of our minds.” We are to “put to death the deeds of the flesh.”

We are “new creatures.”

But this sounds like it affects our relationship with obedience to sin versus obedience to Christ. And doesn’t Paul say somewhere that we are to “remain in the situation in which we were saved”?

Perhaps it is possible that there are things about ourselves that God does not want to change — things that He looks at us as His children and says, “I love you and wouldn’t change this about you.”

As I left the theater, I ruminated over the words of Simon’s dad. I left in some grief, because I know I can never have that kind of conversation with my earthly father.

But I felt God saying something similar to Simon’s dad’s statement.

“I love you, Dean. And I made you the way I wanted to make you. And I wouldn’t change any of it.”

Though my story ended differently than Simon’s, I still felt a kinship with him. Both of us have a father who loves us dearly. His is played by Josh Duhamel. Mine is God above.

And I know He loves me and accepts me.

Did you see Love, Simon? Do you yearn for an earthly father’s acceptance? Do you struggle to believe you can be loved as you are?

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  • Yup! Yep! Yap! That scene stood out to me as well. I also loved the scene with Simon and his mom. Good stuff! Right now I’m taking a little different path. After watching the movie I came out as gay on FB. It felt like it was time. What does that mean? How the heck am I supposed to know? But like you said Dean, it shouldn’t matter. Your real friends and family should be able to accept you for who/where you are. God’s the one doing the sanctifying. In a way, we’re just supposed to be the body.

    • I came out, too, on Facebook. January 21, 2014. It was freeing, I guess. Not sure I want to see this film. My dad’s been out of my life since the 1980s. If the Lord would graciously have my earthly dad and me sit down and talk one day, just the two of us, I’d be grateful. I’m grateful for now, for a heavenly Father who knows every detail of my life, even when I once didn’t believe He existed or cared. The one thing I need to remind myself of, however is that homosexuality is something Christ died for. That’s a hard pill to swallow, but it remains truth, because Truth is a Person. Thanks for sharing, Robert & Dean.

      • Thank you for sharing as well, Joshua. I’m sorry your dad has not been in the picture for many decades. Know that your perfect heavenly Father is there for you every day. Continue to journey well, brother!

      • It’s so cool to see other guys on here like minded. My dad died when I was little and male mentors were non-existent. I’ve often wondered if I’d struggle with SSA/homosexuality anyway, or if I’d been straight, or ??? First hug I ever got from a guy was a pastor in front of everyone–a genuine hug of affection–and I felt so cheated having to wait 50 years for that hug. I hear my dad was a great man and adored by many, and I even have dreams of him knocking on my door getting ready to hug me. One straight friend knows I like guys and has been like a brother–even knows I have had encounters numerous times–and still keeps me on the “straight and narrow” path. Rambling, I know, but great to be open and share with like minded guys!

        • No man should have to wait fifty years for a hug! I’m sorry you did, brother. I’m raising my boys with lots of good affection, so they will not enter into adulthood touch starved.

          • The men in my fellowship always embrace in greeting and give the “kiss of charity”. To the eyes of the world, this is foolishness. But there is something so completely manly about it, it’s hard to describe. We are constantly reaffirming our mutual love and care for one another. This has helped me tremendously in being able to confide and trust others.

    • Robert, I am so happy you felt moved to come out! And coming out doesn’t have to mean anything other than what you want it to mean. That was Simon’s struggle in the movie- he felt that coming out had to mean the same thing for everyone when it doesn’t. I pray you continue to pursue God above all and trust in His sanctification. Know that you are loved and accepted here, brother.

  • I haven’t seen the movie yet (thanks for the spoilers (LOL!)), but I can identify with wanting acceptance from my father and wanting him to say ‘I love you as you are’. He was the John Wayne type, so imagine his horror that his son was the Betty Crocker type. He couldn’t identify with me, so he lavished all his attention on my younger brother who was athletic, dated girls, and was perfect. He got everything he wanted in him. I was just skinny, read books, and really scared to be myself.
    I was violating God’s tenth commandment “Thou shalt not covet anything that is thy neighbor’s” (Exodus 20:17) While we usually think this only relates to material property, it also applies to a person’s character traits. I wanted to be like other guys, to be attracted to girls, to be rugged and ‘manly’; not accepting the gifts that God had given me: sensitivity, knowledge, compassion and faith.
    Years later, at the news that my brother had married his fourth wife after she became pregnant with his fifth child, my father lamented that he wished my brother was more like me.

    • Bradley, I understand what you mean by coveting not being just about material property. I have struggled with that many times myself. Seeing Simon interact with his dad was a strong temptation to fall into that again- hence why that scene hit me so hard. But I am thankful for God as my perfect Father. I pray you continue to journey well, brother.

  • I saw it last night! Although it was ended up being Side A (I don’t know…is kissing always gay affirming? Ha ha!), I thought it was relatable to ANYONE who is SSA/gay.
    It does have its PG-13-ness, but it’s a marvelous depiction about how families and friends are there. I loved how the mom said, “You’re more you now than you’ve been for a while,” or something like that. That experience with the Dad was awesome. The acting, on the other hand, well…is a different story.
    I thought it was a great educational opportunity for anyone.

    • The mom’s statement was also powerful. She represented a great response to a teen coming out. And I think you described it best- this movie is an educational opportunity. I’m glad you enjoyed the movie and were impacted by it!

  • We are fully accepted by God because we are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus, so our father only sees a perfect blameless son or daughter when he looks at us, it also means that he can bless us and touch us with his provision, love and kindness.
    But I don’t think that God wanted me to be gay or SSA or whatever you want to call it
    I don’t know if he will or won’t change me in this area of my life
    But He is perfect and we can be accepted and receive his love through Jesus no matter who, what or where we are in life.
    In essence it doesn’t matter what I am, in him I am his Son
    In our heavenly Daddy we receive FORGIVENESS, ADOPTION and ACCEPTANCE no matter where we are

  • Thank you Dean! Haven’t seen the movie but appreciate your insights. To answer your question, as I have mentioned once before, I grew up in a very formal home where physical touch and hearing “I love you” were not existent. My dad provided for us very well and was a man of integrity, but he never had a dad (his dad died when he was around 9 months old and he was raised by his widowed mother). I really understand why he was emotionally distant…he did his best though. My dad died many years ago when he was pretty young, so I too, have been fatherless in an earthly sense.
    I remember he saw any kind of close relationships between two males or any kind of physical expression like a hug in greeting as not a good thing…he was rather outspoken about that.
    I mentioned to my mom just yesterday that I wished I had some male friends as just about all my interactions are with women many years older than myself. She acknowledged my need, but said in a town like we live in, that would be a “scandal” and I can’t have any such thing. Sad, isn’t it. All I would want is some other males to bond with, share with, hang out with, pray with…but that is not allowed in the “culture” here. So…………..until heaven, I keep pressing on and asking the Lord to use me to be a blessing to those I come in contact with…and even if those things are never met here, I will find satisfaction in putting others first and helping meet their needs…

    • I’m sorry you have faced such circumstances, Dave. I pray you find some brothers to walk with you on this side of heaven. Your desire to serve others is great- but don’t forget that being part of a community means allowing others to serve you as well.

    • I too have face similar circumstances, being in a town where men cannot be close friends or have contact, and heaven forbid if they are gay. I think this is why my best friend committed suicide. He too was gay and his father was a pastor of a church. I was missing him, and confusing sex with love; so I went into the hell that is the gay lifestyle.

  • I did not see the movie, nor will I for various personal reasons. But I do appreciate the sentiment and (as always) the “father accepts and loves son” scene I’m sure was powerful and perhaps cathartic.
    My teen years were a giant mess. More than I can share here. But a few observations come to mind. For me, there was absolutely nothing “romantic” about my SS desires. While I longed for friendships, that was clearly separate from sex. I was attracted to the straightest of straight guys sexually (at least I assumed), and so sex was about pleasuring them. Which was an intense desire I suppressed with alcohol, drugs and MB.
    Perhaps in my case the “romantic” aspects of SSA went out the window as my first “relationship” was with an older boy who was sadistic and abusive. The PTSD from that lead to issues I still deal with today – 40 years later.
    At 16 i spoke to a counselor and it was there that I admitted my homosexual desires. He was quite affirming and that lead me to a counseling center for people with “alternate” sexualities. My father was very supportive of this as my symptoms were heavy drug abuse and suicidal thoughts.
    At 19 I “came out” as gay, and my family was accepting. This launched me into the “gay life” of the pre-AIDS 1980s. Finally I was popular, had many sexual encounters, a few “romantic” relationships, boyfriends. And after 3 years of immersion, was miserable again. And left it all to be “straight.” I think one of the issues (and there many) was that I still wanted STRAIGHT guys, and gay guys did not really satisfy me?
    Around age 20 i watched the movie Ordinary People on HBO. That was so powerful about an ordinary boy surviving a horrific event. And the aftermath. I so related to that and honestly still bawl at certain scenes. Especially what he considered his “one mistake” – surviving . It’s a movie about parental relationships and his father at the end was very touching too (obviously I recommend this film).
    Where i always struggle is seeing God in any of that. I was spared AIDS, I “lived”, but at a price.

    • I lived too, after the death of my best friend, who I loved. I had basic SSA, but wound up in the homosexual lifestyle because I was missing him. I just wanted to feel anything and I had been feeling nothing. Gay sex is like a drug, and the high you get lasts maybe thirty seconds; in the meantime there is lots of physical pain and humiliation. At the time, it seemed worth it, but pretty soon I was no longer having sex with guys to feel good, but keep from feeling bad. What I needed to do was grieve for David and I didn’t nor did I understand my motivations for gay sex. Now I do and God showed me where his grave was so I could begin the grief process, like I should have done as a teenager. I have a lot of pent of anguish inside of me, and just when I think I have released it all, more tears come out. God told me I am going to grieve the rest of my life, however long that may be.

      • Thanks Bradley. I agree that the grieving process is vital. Painful losses left scars for many of us that were not permitted (or did not permit ourselves) to go through it in our teens. My father left when I was 10, I’m not sure I fully grieved that though it was 46 years ago. He came back in my life when I was 16, I know he felt guilty about those six years away. Yet I had to separate from that initial loss – and the resulting fear of abandonment/rejection was ingrained in me. Grieving is vital, yet big boys don’t cry eh?

    • Thank you for sharing, Jim. I am so sorry you have suffered from the PTSD for so long. I can’t even imagine how that has been for you. Your vulnerability in sharing that is incredible and I appreciate greatly your willingness to open up.

  • Okay, brothers, this is a very painful thing to tell you. But I feel I should.
    Shortly before I was saved, I was caught in a very compromising situation with my adult gay brother’s boyfriend. It was late at night, and I was around 13. He definitely knew better. Anyway, I fled the house into the night. I ran down the street, around the corner, and into the entryway of our friend’s apartment duplex. It was very dark in there, so I thought I could be safe from detection. There, I sobbed myself silly. By then, everyone in my house had been awakened, and some of them went out looking for me. I could hear the car passing down the street.
    I don’t know how long I remained there, but it was awhile. Eventually, I crept back home through the back alley, and slipped through the back door and up the steps to my room, hoping desperately that I was undetected. I wasn’t. I heard the stairway door open and the steps of someone coming up.
    It was…..my mother!
    It was my mother, who bent over me and held me close to her weeping with me while I sobbed. She told me over and over again that she loved me and accepted me. Which was very kind and good of her.
    But this brought me no comfort. None at all. I kept thinking while she was affirming me, “No, no no! I don’t want to be accepted! I don’t want to be this way–NOT AT ALL!”
    Somehow, in the wee early hours of the morning I drifted off to sleep. When I awakened later in the morning, I remember it was a bright day outside, the sunshine pouring into my window. I got up. Nothing was said to me by anyone in the house. Everyone went about the day as normal in our dysfunctional home. It was as if nothing had ever happened.
    Except for me. I was dead inside. Mortified beyond belief and destitute of comfort. My mother’s words had been kind and absolutely genuine, but they weren’t the ones that I needed. They had brought me no relief, and, worst of all, they had brought me no hope.
    I didn’t want to be gay like my brother (who also had taken advantage of me). I didn’t want to do the things that were wrong. I didn’t want to be loved and affirmed where I was. I wanted to be loved and affirmed to where and what I should have been.
    And so, I hope that I can at least speak for some young people who are confused and desperately wanting love and affirmation to help them to be what they should be and not just accept who they think they are in their young and immature minds.
    I needed hope, brothers. Hope, far more than I needed affirmation.
    This was very difficult to relate. I love all of you.

    • Kirk, I am so sorry to hear what happened to you. People you should have been able to trust betrayed you. No one should ever affirm abuse which is what unfortunately happened. Your value, though, as an individual can be affirmed because you are a precision creation in God’s eyes. That is something to affirm- for everyone. Thank you for being so open on here. I pray God brings healing and grace into this aspect of your life.

      • Dean, thank you. Your words are kind. I should clarify, however, that my mother was specifically affirming same sex attraction. Not the abuse. The sad thing about this whole situation was that I initiated it. He was old enough to know better. I was doing what I had been accustomed to others doing to me. So it wasn’t the abuse she was addressing, but the fact that I could have been gay. She already had an older son who was out and open. She wanted me to know she was okay with me being that way, too.
        The abuse I went through as a child was awful, but moreso in retrospect than in the moment. I didn’t want to be gay or have the attractions I had.
        That’s maybe more specific. Hope it makes better sense.

    • Thanks for boldly sharing, Kirk. So sorry for the abuse and that lack of hope growing up. I pray you’ve found more hope today both on YOB and in your life. Thanks for being here, brother.

      • Thanks, TMZ. I do have hope now. That came to me at 14, when I found the Savior.
        And now, you know more about me than a lot of my close friends know. Sigh. Vulnerability is an extremely painful thing at times.

  • Nope, haven’t seen it yet… though the trailer for the movie makes me desire to. I guess that’s what trailers are intended to do, though.
    I go into movies like these fully expecting to have my emotions (and, perhaps, even my deeper beliefs about such things) intentionally manipulated, to be completely honest. And yet, the lure and draw… even the familiar situational appeal is always there. I’ll probably eventually see it for those reasons, if not for the simple satisfaction of my own curiosity.
    Jump back a number of years to “Brokeback Mountain,” and I remember how that movie also affected me emotionally… morally… spiritually. I don’t know that this was a good thing, though I don’t believe its effect was completely negative in any of those aspects, either. I guess if my compass remains anchored to the Truth, rather than to such movies, then I’ll be able to keep (or regain) my good bearings, after seeing them.
    Hello, Dean, by the way. It’s been months since I’ve bothered to read any of the YOB blog postings. But today I found myself longing to identify with a cyber-buddy of sorts, and so I got cought up in the reading.
    Not sure “where I am” right now, to be honest. I feel alone in so many ways it’s frustrating, and yet I’m still not yet ready to trust myself to the inevitable and hurtful vulnerability of any sort of “real” friendship right now. I feel angry deep inside of myself to the point that I find myself lashing out at God when there’s no other people around to see it. And yet, my own logic dictates that the real person I’m actually so angry at these days, is my own “self,” and the ways in which I perceive “him.”
    Life pretty much sucks right now. I feel guilty for even saying that, because there’s no legitimate reason for me to feel that way. I guess I’m just holding on to my own misguided perceptions of what “Christianity” is actually supposed to be… supposed to feel like… supposed to look like in this confusing world and culture of ours. I’m still hoping and believing that eventually God is going to open my eyes and show me the epiphany to my situation, that seems so intent to elude me within the darkness I so often feel surrounded by… even on Sunday mornings or Wednesday evenings in “church” services.
    I guess I just needed to talk; not to expect an answer or to make anyone else feel obligated to any sort of response. I just needed to “hope” that someone else would read what I said, and that they’d understand… and they’d “get” me. Perhaps they did, perhaps they didn’t. Not so sure I even care to know that aspect of it. I think I’d rather have the familiarity of the distance, knowing I’m in no position to be able to engage anyone else in healthy conversation about any of this, right now… other than God.
    Could it be that’s actually who I’m reaching out to in communicating any of it? Lord knows that his is probably the only answer I’d trust right now… if I can still recognize that it’s his voice I hear.

    • Hello, fellow Dean- always good to hear from you. I have noticed your absence recently and have missed your comments and thoughts.
      I’m sorry you are going through a sucky season right now. Though it doesn’t “make sense”, it doesn’t negate the feelings you are having. Sometimes you just have to get them out there, speaking them out loud knowing that someone physical is listening. Of course we should always take our cares to God- yet God knew that it was not good for a man (or a woman) to be alone. Hence why God created us to be in community.
      I pray you find the words to speak to God and have the ears to hear Him speak back to you. I also want to encourage you that it’s ok to need to talk to another person. Don’t feel that it’s a lack of faith.
      I hope you engage with us some more in the future, Dean. Always enjoy your thoughts.

  • Hi Dean…I watched the movie “Love, Simon” on the Internet as in my country, the public screening of such movies are banned and I really liked it .(Interestingly, the 1982 movie “Making Love”; the one with Harry Hamlin was screened then…this was the first movie with a gay relationship that I ever watched….I think our local censorship board didn’t watch it keenly otherwise there is no way it would have been allowed in our local movie theatres). My parents died years ago but the movie made me wonder what would have happened if I ever came out to them…..would they have kicked me out of the house?

    • That’s a tough thought to consider, Bryane. And I’m sorry for the loss of your parents. I pray you continue to grow in your own walk though as you move forward. Thank you for sharing!

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