Dustin Lance Black: I knew that God did not love me

New York Daily News/June 22, 2009

Life wasn't so rosy for Dustin Lance Black before he won an Oscar: the screenwriter even contemplated suicide.

While being honored at the Stonewall Community Foundation dinner at the UN last week, the "Milk" scribe revealed that growing up gay in a Mormon household almost destroyed his life.

"I could do what I thought about constantly, which was to take my own life, but thankfully there aren't enough pills . . . in modern Mormon medicine," he said. "I knew I was going to hell; I knew that God did not love me. I knew I was a second-class citizen and that I was a ‘less-than.' "

He then proceeded to tell the assembled audience that he had another option - although that one didn't seem so great, either.

"My other choice was to hide - and that meant to go on a Mormon mission, to get married to a woman in the temple, and have a small family of, say, 20, 30 or 40 kids. I cried myself to sleep on more Sabbath nights than I care to remember."

Black may have been crying himself to sleep post-Oscar win as well, especially given that sexually explicit photos of the writer surfaced on the internet - and were featured on PerezHilton.com - this month.

Although there has been a backlash in the gay community against Hilton for posting the pictures, friends of the self-proclaimed "Gossip Gangster" say he held back on an even more embarrassing aspect of the Black scandal: an accompanying (and super-raunchy) video of the scribe.

For his part, the Oscar-winner has apologized for being caught with his pants down. "More important than the embarrassment of this incident is the misleading message these images send. I apologize and cannot emphasize enough the importance of responsible sexual practices," he has said.

And Black was nothing but responsible as he accepted his award at the United Nations, urging others to take federal action in the hopes of legalizing gay marriage. "It is time for my gay brothers and sisters to come together and start winning these fights for each other again," he said, adding, " I know all too well the dire solutions that may have flashed through [a young gay man or woman's] head."

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