J. Edgar to 8: Dustin Lance Black's artistic triumphs for gay rights
One of the great historians of our time, Dustin Lance Black is responsible for some great dramatic portrayals of our country's past. Whether his subject is Harvey Milk, J. Edgar Hoover or the California State Supreme Court, Black is painstakingly thorough with his research and masterful with his storytelling. While his themes are consistent and his LGBT rights message clear, Black is consistently fair and empathetic to the real-life characters he portrays. Tonight the Denver Center for the Performing Arts will host a reading of Black's recent play 8, which illustrates what happened in the historic Perry vs Schwarzenegger case concerning California's Proposition 8.
Continue reading for other examples of Black's artistic triumphs for gay rights:
In the days of J. Edgar Hoover's America, homosexuality was thought to be a symptom of a larger kind of madness. In an earlier scene, Hoover's mother explains to him that she'd rather have a dead son than a "daffodil" for a son, forever cementing in young Hoover the idea that there would always be a side to him that could never be unleashed. Avoiding any overt preachiness, in his screenplay for J. Edgar -- and in this scene in particular -- Dustin Lance Black clearly illustrates that in 1940s America, madness didn't create homosexuality, but rather society's treatment of homosexuals drove them to madness.