Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Rachel E. Dubrofsky, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Aisha Durham, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Chris McRae, Ph.D.


Homonationalism, LGBTQ, Postracism, Strategic Whiteness


This thesis examines the portrayal of racial and sexual identities in the film Love, Simon (2018). Love, Simon follows the story of Simon Spier, a white, gay high school student who discovers true love and acceptance from his peers. Many Hollywood entertainment reviewers praised the film for its progressive portrayal of a LGBTQ romance between teenage characters. At the same time, Love, Simon uses Black characters to re-center Simon to show that Whiteness can rehabilitate queerness. I use Jasbir K. Puar’s (2007) idea of homonationalism- LGBTQ rights discourse privilege white gay men while conversely decentering Black and Brown (queer) people- and postracism as organizing frameworks for this thesis project. I ask: how might homonationalism create new understandings of how Love, Simon portrays race and sexuality? What are the costs of the film including some bodies while isolating and disadvantaging others?

Included in

Communication Commons