Love, Victor is just the perfect excuse we all needed to finally get a Hulu subscription and treat ourselves to a queer Latinx show for Pride Month! Love, Victor, premieres tomorrow, Wednesday the 17th.
Set in the same universe of Love, Simon, we now see the coming-of-age (and coming-out) story of a Latino character named Victor Salazar played by Michael Cimino. The spin-off takes place in Creekwood High School in Atlanta, where Victor arrives as a new transfer student from a small town in Texas.
The story is an important narrative shift from Simon’s privileged world. Coming from a religious Colombian-American family, Victor struggles with coming to terms with his identity as well as sharing this self-discovery journey with the people he loves the most. However, the show gives us a bigger picture of what his home environment looks like and avoids violent stereotypes commonly imposed on Latinx families on T.V and film.
Love, Victor navigates the family’s homophobia in a way that accounts for years of the Catholic Church’s influence in Latin America and Latinx households. At the same time, we are presented with family relationships that are rooted in love and understanding. It is undeniable that Victor’s family deeply cares about him, but the question still remains: Are they willing to change their conservative mindset?
There is rarely ever a simple, straight-forward answer to this question, which is what I think the show tries to demonstrate on screen. The fact that Victor’s exploration of his own sexuality is way more complicated and confusing than Simon’s only proves the need for inclusion. Listening and amplifying the voices of the most marginalized individuals within the LQBTQ+ community is imperative in order to achieve liberation.
“I can’t wait to hear from young kids who are struggling with their identities and see what they think…for me, it was really exciting [to be part of the cast], because I truly do believe representation matters” said Ana Ortiz. She plays Isabel, Victor’s loving mother who’s balancing her responsibilities, aspirations, and desires as a wife, mother, and woman. Ana shared that her hope for Love, Victor is to spark healthy conversations at home.
Isabel and Victor’s relationship is one of the strongest bonds we witness throughout the show. Even though they go through some rough patches on the season, they are always able to save their mother-son connection. Will Isabel’s reaction to Victor’s secret destroy what they have built for years?
“Isabel has her own coming-of-age. She has to decide where she’s going to land on this. Everything that she has been told her whole life is that being gay is a sin, and the person that she loves the most on this planet is now a sinner? I am really curious to see how it evolves…her love as a mother is going to have to overpower everything that she has learned,” Ana teases.
We cannot wait for the writers to keep unraveling the ways in which Victor’s family will have to deal with their spirituality and religious beliefs without compromising their love for Victor. For now, let’s binge-watch the first season!