Moviegoers hoping to watch Love, Simon in India were disappointed to find they couldn’t purchase cinema tickets on the day of its intended release.
The film, which has been a smash hit for its depiction of a gay high school teen exploring his sexuality, was intended to hit India’s cinemas on June 1.
However, fans were disappointed to find that cinemas had announced the tickets were no longer available on the day of their intended release, with the Indian Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) reportedly banning it for its depiction of gay relationships, reported Gay Star News.
Furious LGBT+ Indians have penned their thoughts under hashtags #ReleaseLoveSimoninIndia and #LoveSimon.
One petition demanding that the CBFC release the film said fans have waited two months for the film to hit the box office.
“India is considered as a progressive country but still hasn’t scheduled the release of Love, Simon in the cinemas despite the movie being released in majority of the countries,” reads the change.org petition.
“It’s been more than 2 months and the LGBT+ community has been patiently waiting for the movie which finally gives the community some representation.”
The petition meditates on how India’s community needs to see LGBT+ representation onscreen.
“India has lacked a mainstream powerful representation of its LGBT+ citizens for a long time. Although not Bollywood, this film could not only encourage LGBT kids to come out, but also educate parents about what it means to be gay, lesbian, bisexual etc. This film could have a tremendous impact on the country’s perception of what it means to be a part of the LGBT+ community.”
LGBT campaigners have been calling for the repeal of Section 377 since it was brought back into effect by a court ruling in 2013.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has remained silent on the Colonial era law which criminalises sex “against the order of nature,” and has been told by activists to “pick a side.”
The legal challenge is being brought by 33-year-old hotel owner Keshav Suri, who is in a same-sex relationship and is seeking to have the law struck down.