Naturalist Project Issue #8
text • Thom Lonardo photography • Paul Mpagi Sepuya styling • Sara Alviti
Dustin Lance Black is a troublemaker.
From his passionate, yet controversial, acceptance speech at the Oscars in 2008, to playing a major role in defeating Prop 8 (a statewide ballot that would have made same-sex marriage illegal in California), the award - winning screenwriter, director, and social activist is not afraid to stand up for what he believes.
A powerhouse of art and activism, the 41-year-old Black took some time to share his thoughts with us on the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on Marriage Equality, gays in Hollywood, coming out to his Mormon mom, and what area he trumps his partner, Olympic diver Tom Daley in.
TL: First of all, congratulations on the recent marriage equality ruling. What was your reaction when you heard the news?
DLB: I was in San Francisco, and it was early in the morning because things were obviously unfolding on the East Coast, but to be honest, I wasn’t totally surprised. If you’ve been involved in the marriage equality fight, and its path to the Supreme Court, you saw the writing on the wall. It wasn’t until later that it started to sink in. I went out onto Castro Street, and saw hundreds, if not thousands, of people converging to celebrate. I just remember closing my eyes and thinking about how a kid like me, growing up in Texas, could now fall in love, and think about one day marrying their partner, and knowing that it would be recognized and protected by this country.