Love, Simon stars Nick Robinson (Simon) and Keiynan Lonsdale (Bram) created a historic moment on the MTV Movie & TV Awards stage as they took home the award for best kiss, the first to center on a gay romance.
The film, which was released earlier this year, became the first teen-targeted, major studio project centered on a gay romance. Upon accepting their award, the actors praised the film’s message and shared the win with teens and the LGBTQ community.
“You can live your dreams and wear dresses. You can live your dreams and kiss the one that you love, no matter what gender they are,” said Lonsdale, who donned an outfit resembling a dress for the show. “You can live your dreams and believe in magic. You can live your dreams and be yourself.”
During the film’s release earlier this year, Love, Simon’s marketing materials leaned in to the film’s LGBTQ themes. TV spots ran during NBC’s revival of Will & Grace, while billboards hit N.Y. and L.A. with geographically tailored copy that read “Dear NY, Any Yankees interested in switching teams?” and “Dear LA, Which way to WEHO? Asking for a friend.” The movie’s Twitter account also tweeted words from “Simon” to Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness and Olympian Adam Rippon.
“There was a time when we saw LGBTQ content and storylines sidelined in marketing,” says GLAAD vp programs Zeke Stokes of the film. “I think marketers thought they were going to pull a fast one and get audiences into theaters for something they weren’t sold. This presents itself as exactly what it is.”
Tiffany Haddish is hosting the MTV Movie & TV Awards.