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Posts Tagged ‘Dustin Lance Black’

Congratulations to ‘Milk’ screenwriter, Dustin Lance Black,  for his Oscar win for Best Original Screenplay.  I’m so happy for him.  His acceptance speech was so inspiring and honest.  I’m glad he gave a plea for gay rights.  Here is what he had to say.

“When I was 13 years old, my beautiful mother and my father moved me from a conservative Mormon home in San Antonio, Texas to California, and I heard the story of Harvey Milk. And it gave me hope. It gave me the hope to live my life. It gave me the hope one day I could live my life openly as who I am and then maybe even I could even fall in love and one day get married.

I wanna thank my mom, who has always loved me for who I am even when there was pressure not to. But most of all, if Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he’d want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told that they are less than by their churches, by the government or by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights federally, across this great nation of ours. Thank you. Thank you. And thank you, God, for giving us Harvey Milk.”

Thank you, Dustin!

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I can’t wait to see the new movie “Milk” starring Sean Penn.  The movie, a biopic about the first openly gay man elected to office, is currently in limited release but opens in more theaters this Friday.  I’ve been so fascinated about his life and the work he did for the gay rights movement.

Dustin Lance Black, the screenwriter of the film, was also inspired by the life Harvey Milk.  Dustin Lance Black is openly gay and grew up in the Mormon faith in San Antonio, Texas.  Hearing about Harvey Milk and his sacrifices encouraged Black to come out to his family and friends.

“Texas kept me very quiet. I became intensely shy, I had thoughts of suicide. I was a pretty dark kid, because I had an acute awareness of my sexuality, and was absolutely convinced that I was wrong. In his Hope Speech, Harvey Milk says, ‘There’s that kid in San Antonio, and he heard tonight that a gay man was elected to public office, and that will give him hope.’ And when I first heard that speech, it really did that. It really, really gave me hope, for the first time.”

Terry Gross, from NPR’s Fresh Air, recently had a great interview with the screenwriter of the film, Dustin Lance Black.  Talking about his experiences growing up in the Mormon Church, researching for the film,  and what it meant to him about the passage of the same-sex marriage ban.  It’s a great interview and I love his insight on gay rights.  I’m so glad NPR has been running pieces on Harvey Milk and other gay rights activists during that time.  And for Fresh Air to have Dustin Lance Black on the show.  It’s great to hear open gay public figures share their experiences.  It’s so important to share experiences and let people know who is being affected.  It’s what we need to achieve equality for gay Americans.

Check out the interview.  And while you’re at it, listen to Terry Gross’s interview with James Franco, who co-stars in the film. And listen to a review of the film by their film critic, David Edelstein.  Did I mention I’m excited to see this film?

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