The existence of a film like Love, Simon is a triumph — it’s a major studio release about a gay teen coming of age and finding love. It’s so great that there’s even talk of a Love, Simon sequel. We should be celebrating the fact that this film exists, and yet teenagers in Singapore are discouraged from seeing Love, Simon because it received an R21 rating, meaning, you must show ID that proves you are 21 to see the film in a theater.
Singapore’s rating system has deemed the film inappropriate for anyone under the age of 21 because of the “theme of homosexuality.” Singapore’s Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) doles out the ratings, and sadly, their reasoning for the film’s rating is exactly what a lot of fans would consider the magic and heart of the film.
A fan named Thasha Monique Dharmendra has started a Change.org petition to get the rating lowered to NC16 in Singapore, which more closely resembles its PG-13 rating in the U.S and PG rating in Canada.
The petition is only a few hundred signatures away from its 15,000 signature goal.
Fans like Dharmendra give us hope for the future, however, it will take a lot more than signatures to change the minds of the Singapore government, where it is a crime for two men to have sex. You can sign the petition for Love, Simon here and while you’re at it, buy tickets to see the movie here.