As Dustin Lance Black has recently told to the “Huffington post”, it was very hard for him to identify himself growing up in a deeply religious family (his parents were Mormons) in Texas. But then he moved to San Francisco and saw that there are many gay men and they don’t feel ashamed about being the way they are.
“I was about 15 years old when I moved to the Bay area. At that point, for eight or nine years, all I’d had were negative messages from the church about going to hell. From the military environment, it’d been made clear that I was definitely somebody to be excluded and, being from the South, that I would bring shame to my family if any body found out.So I thought if I fell in love, I would go to hell, bring shame to my family, be bashed or be killed. That removes the possibility of love from someone’s entire life and replaces it with shame. As a young kid, you start to contemplate solutions for making this living thing shorter, I certainly did, and I know I’m not alone.”
Harvey Milk inspired Black and helped him see a way out of “the misery”. “You start to put hope in a place where shame has lived for a long time, and it’s life-changing. Life-saving, I’d go so far as to say.” He continued, saying that he was lucky to hear about Harvey Milk. “It was life-saving for me. I wanted to share it in case it helped others, but the story of one gay man isn’t going to do it.Until recently, Hollywood wasn’t there to support a production of easily accessible hero journeys for LGBT people. I think it’s incredibly important for young people who, as they come of age and might start hearing negative messages about who they are, that they also have a history of their forefathers and foremothers that they can draw inspiration from.”