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The Oscar-winning screenwriter speaks on his new memoir, a lifetime of activism and the future of the LGBTQ rights movement.

Despite being raised by a Mormon family in conservative Texas, Dustin Lance Black has spent much of his adult life fighting for LGBTQ rights. He won an Oscar for his critically-acclaimed 2008 biopic of openly gay politician and activist Harvey Milk, and later thrust himself into the fight for nationwide marriage equality in the United States. When that was achieved, he turned his focus to TV with political docudrama When We Rise, which follows 45 years of the LGBTQ movement in his home country. When witnessing the incredible progress made first hand, it would be easy to assume the hard work is over, but Dustin says he won’t be content until the whole world can enjoy the freedoms he has.

“As happy as I am for places like London or New York or Los Angeles, where LGBTQ people can live in relative safety, I don’t think our work is even near done until, for example, the young women I hear from in places like Iran feel just as safe and free,” he says. “I don’t like to focus on our progress yet, I feel like that will bring about complacency, so I find myself focused on regions in my home country that really need help, and that’s what I hope this book will do, it will start conversations within families.”

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About Gay Times

Over the next 3 months, Gay Times Magazine will be celebrating the very essence of Pride – featuring voices and experiences of the entire LGBTQ initialism from all over the world. In our first volume, covered by Billy Porter, Valentina and Bretman Rock, we’re looking at the fluidity our modern community enjoys. These are people who have either fought for, given visibility to, or celebrated their power to express themselves in the most authentic (and downright fierce) way possible. Not only that, but they do it unapologetically, and with two fingers up to the patriarchy that governs what is considered ‘normal’. We also have a special extended travel section on everything New York City World Pride, giving you insight into the great metropolis that witnessed the birth of Pride. What’s more, there are interviews with the team bringing Tales of the City back to Netflix, making sure the enduring spirit of the queer community is front and centre. Elsewhere in the issue Ryan Jamaal Swain talks Pose, privilege and Pride; L Devine on bringing her sexuality front and centre in her music; Dustin Lance Black on his lifetime of activism; Angele Anang on being the first openly trans winner of Drag Race; Ryan O’Connell on why disabled people shouldn’t be used as ‘inspiration porn; plus fashion, opinion and art from all over the world.