‘Mama's Boy' Author Dustin Lance Black on Growing Up Gay in Texas, the ‘insanity' of Our Divided Culture

Dustin Lance Black is a proud Texan and an Oscar-winning screenwriter who has written a new memoir, released by a major publisher.He's on the road now, promoting Mama's Boy: A Story from Our Americas. And the thing he most wants to talk about is insanity."It's what my mom called out before I lost her," he says. "In this miraculous, beautiful universe of ours, where it's an absolute miracle that our eyes and ears can witness it all, we somehow have bought into this lie that the highest plane of existence is whether we put an R or a D on our voter registration card. That's insanity."Black is increasingly concerned about the political and cultural divide that he sees engulfing America like a giant tsunami. He goes so far as to call it "a mental illness, because the only way we have to define ourselves is through these tribes. And that's actually frightening, because it's not the first time in our history that we have bought into this."In other words, he says, it never turns out well.Black has long been one to push hard against accepted norms, in defiance of what he calls those destructive insanities. In addition to writing the Oscar-winning screenplay for the movie Milk, about the life of San Francisco Board of Supervisors member Harvey Milk, who in 1978 was shot to death in City Hall, Black is a committed social activist.He's a founding board member of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, or AFER, which successfully led the federal cases for marriage equality in California and Virginia.Now 44, he's married to British Olympic diver Tom Daley, with whom he's raising a son, a baby born last summer.  Continue reading...

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