My First Summer — Reimagining the Queer Coming-of-Age Summer Film | BFI Flare Review

My First Summer (dir Katie Found)

Grace (Maiah Stewardson), a flamboyant and creative girl, witnesses the drowning of a local woman. While investigating the woman’s life and a possible second person involved in the incident, she finds Claudia (Markella Kavenagh), the unknown daughter of the dead woman. Claudia, after being sheltered and isolated with her mother her entire life, is fearful of life outside of her home, unable to cope with new people or new surroundings. The two begin to form a close friendship that soon evolves into passion, all the while teaching each other about the beauty of life and love.

My First Summer is basked in this gorgeous glow of the summer sun. It’s reminiscent of the nostalgic hug you get from Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name but with the purity of passion you get from Sebastian Lelio’s A Fantastic Woman. It’s aware of the films that have come before it, while still being able to forge its own path, creating a stunning new feature that will bring an eternal warmth to the LGBTQ+ film canon.

My First Summer (dir Katie Found)

But what really gives this film its charm is that it finds beauty, instead of grief, in young queer love. My First Summer differs from other coming-of-age queer films, as its protagonists are never shamed, chastised or pitted because of their sexuality. They are allowed to explore their love for one another fully unadulterated and without judgement. The main source of anxiety in these girls’ lives isn’t their sexual preference. Rather, their love for one another allows them both to flourish into young adults, to face their fears and insecurities and become the best versions of themselves.

It’s easy for LGBTQ+ narratives to become negative and depressing quite quickly. There’s almost this unspoken rule that to tell queer stories, it must be filled with torment. But My First Summer challenges those tropes and allows its characters to create a beautiful and wholesome love that shows the power of true devotion and dedication to another human being.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️




is a freelance culture and media writer. She has an MA in Film Studies from the University of East Anglia. Her portfolio is at

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Midnight Traveler and Deeper Meaning behind the Film

Swara Bhaskara helped 1000 migrants return home; taking inspiration from Sonu Sood

Greatest female martial artists from films (pt. 1)

‘It’s Okay Not To Be Okay’ Shows Us How Doctors Should Be

The Lady Eve (1941) • Blu-ray [Criterion Collection]

(Black Beauty) Čierny krásavec Celý film (2020) FILMY ČESKY O N L I N E

High Noon (1952) • Limited Edition Blu-ray [Eureka! Masters of Cinema]

Talkin’ Bout My Reputation: In Defense of ‘Red Sparrow’

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Shelby Cooke

Shelby Cooke

is a freelance culture and media writer. She has an MA in Film Studies from the University of East Anglia. Her portfolio is at

More from Medium

It’s Just a Piece of Fabric

The Great Un-Gendering

Proof of Racism in the Bible

Worth The Wait; Destiny 2: The Witch Queen