In an effort to combat the discrimination and exclusion that so many young people in the LGBTQ community encounter during their high school years, 20th Century Fox Film has announced a partnership with GLSEN to create two new resources for educators and students to discuss sexual identity, coming out, and harassment. The discussion guide and lesson plan are based on the studio’s new film Love, Simon, a heartfelt coming-of-age story about 17-year-old Simon Spier coming out to his family and friends. The movie arrives in theaters in the U.S. on March 16, and the school resources will be available for free download at GLSEN.org.
“Not only have Greg Berlanti and Fox 2000 brought us a moving story about self-discovery, falling in love, and community, but with this partnership, they’re helping students and educators use this story to ensure every student can be themselves,” said Eliza Byard, GLSEN Executive Director. “Even with the recent visibility on marriage equality and the need to protect trans youth, it’s still rare for LGBTQ youth to see themselves reflected in a Hollywood feature film, much less a love story. Thank you, Greg and Fox, for sharing this story with the world, and for supporting inclusive schools for all.”
Set in a suburban high school, Love, Simon follows Spier’s journey toward embracing his identity, even as he deals with the fear of rejection from those he loves, as well as bullying and harassment at school. Berlanti directed the film as an adaptation of Becky Albertalli’s novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, and it stars Nick Robinson, Katherine Langford, Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel, and Tony Hale. The lesson plan and discussion guides, created by Fox and GLSEN, will be available for free to educators and students across the country.
“When I first read Elizabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker’s script for Love, Simon, I knew I had to make this movie,” Berlanti said. “I identified with Simon’s character, and I hoped we could make a movie that millions of LGBTQ youth could identify with, too. I’m thrilled to know that this partnership with GLSEN will ensure Love, Simon is a resource for creating safe and inclusive schools where every student can live fully and authentically.”
21CF has consistently sought opportunities to use its films and television programming as educational resources where possible. Recently, the company partnered with the Women’s Sports Foundation, founded by Billie Jean King, to create a school discussion guide based on Fox Searchlight’s 2017 film Battle of the Sexes, covering sexual identity and the feminist movement. Fox Home Entertainment partnered with the nonprofit Journeys in Film to create a curriculum guide for Hidden Figures, which tells the story of three African American female mathematicians during the Space Race of the 1960s.