Search form

Scroll To Top

2009: Oscars Got Milk

2009: Oscars Got Milk

Courtesy of Dustin Lance Black

Dustin Lance Black recalls his Oscar acceptance speech.

For 25 years, OUT has celebrated queer culture. To mark our silver jubilee, we look back at some of the biggest, brightest moments of the past 9,131 days.

Gus Van Sant's sensitive and compelling biopic of gay icon Harvey Milk won two Academy Awards, one for Sean Penn's performance in the title role, and the other for screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, who used the occasion to deliver an exceptionally moving speech in which he talked about the hope he'd derived as a child in a Mormon family from hearing about Milk. "I played with a framework in my head on a hike the morning of the awards, but when I hit the stage, I mostly just spoke from the heart, praying the producers wouldn't cut me off," he recalls today. "My mom was very sick at the time with cancer--a fight she ultimately lost--but she was there in the audience with a decent wig and a marriage-equality ribbon on... no small deal for a Southern, military, Mormon mom. I remember looking out at her as I gave the speech, tears running down her face--and I mentioned her then, of course. And after, I took the Oscar straight to her row and put it in her lap. She kept it in her home in Manassas, Virginia, until the day she died. I would only ever see it on visits home or when a plumber would come to her house, take a selfie with it, and tag me on Facebook."

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories Editors