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Hoover- Chuck Berry
Dustin Lance Black
Homosexuality for the longest time was frowned upon, and even a crime. In the 1800's if you were found having sexual relations with a person of the same sex, you could be sent to jail. After WWII, some of the first gay rights groups were founded. In 1965 there was a gay rights march in Philadelphia, which many historians feel was the start of the modern day gay rights movement. The stonewall riots in 1969 were one of the most important events in Gay history. A group of homosexual men and women were at a bar, when the police decided to raid the bar. Many people feel that the police were doing this just because the patrons were gay. Well the men and women resisted arrest, and this started a stereotype that gay people were just a bunch if law breaking trouble makers. The 80's were the most active decade in gay rights. AID's was by-far the biggest stereotype that gay men had to outgrow. There was a rising feeling in the 80's that all Gay people had AID's, and we were the reason that it was killing people. In 1982 homosexuals were banned from the military. Also, in 1986 the supreme court approved a law that homosexuals could not perform anal, or oral sex because it was considered sodomy. Not onl were citizens showing there disproval with gays, Pope John Paul II called gays "intrinsically disordered" and "evil." This was a blow to homosexuals at the time that were catholics. As you can see homosexuals for many years have been repressed, and looked down upon.
LGBT Pride Parade
Gay rights parade in New York, 1976
Gay Rights Poster from the 1970's
Rainbow flag, often the symbol for the gay community.
My name is Dustin Lance Black and I was born into a Mormon family in San Antonio, Texas. I knew from a young age I was homosexual. When I was 7 years old I had feelings for a boy down the street, and these feelings scared me. I thought I would go to hell, and be persecuted for who I was. I feel that this was one of the first times I knew I was homosexual. I never really came to terms with my sexuality until I was almost out of college. My religion is very clear that all homosexuals will go to hell, which scared me in my younger years. I never officially came out until my senior year in college. I always felt that I had a calling to make movies. Since coming out was so hard for me, I felt the best way for me to help others was to make movies. In 2000 I wrote and directed “The Journey of Jared Price”, and “Something Close to Heaven”. They were both gay romance films that I felt at the time no one else was making. Then in 2001 I made “The Bus”, which was about 6 gay mens adventure to burning man. I loved making these movies, and I felt that this was the best way I knew how to get the word out about the gay community. Throughout the 90's I was inspired by the work of Harvey Milk. He stood strong in a era that a openly gay man in congress was very hard. I was so impressed on how he handled himself with the rising Aid’s epidemic. I spent three years in California researching the life and career of Harvey Milk. Then in 2008 I released “Milk”, a story on the career on Harvey Milk. I won the Oscar for best original screen play for “Milk”. This was a great platform for me to get my point of views out there. I feel that God gave me this talent to make movies so I could spread awareness on the struggles in th
e gay community.
Congressman Harvey Milk
Justin at the 2009 Academy Awards
Justin at the 2009 NYC LGBT Rally
Justin giving his acceptance speech at the oscars
Justin giving a speech at a Gay rights rally
I have had many successes in my career. The biggest I would have to say is winning the Oscar for my work with "Milk". I feel that since my career is so young I have had too many failures, but if I had to pick one it would be failing to make some of my movies better known. I make movies that try to get across the gay communities feelings on things. The Gay rights movement is still going strong. Currently only 6 states allow gay marriage. It’s a mission of mine that it's legal in all 50 states to have same sex marriages. I feel that the movement is making a lot of progress. We have come very far the last couple years and I feel that many more Americans, gay or straight, approve of what we are trying to get done. I feel that the biggest change I made was getting out the work of Harvey Milk. Many young people never heard of him, and I felt that it was important for people to know what he died for. I feel that the Gay rights movement is strong and only getting better.
Barney Frank, one of the few current openly gay congressmen
Older Americans protesting for gay rights
A straight man protesting for Gay rights
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