Monday, 23 February 2009

Sean Penn and Dustin Lance Black - Men of The Day

Gay rights night at Oscars

Needless to say how happy I am to see Sean Penn winning the Best Actor at the Oscars for his portrayal of gay rights champion Harvey Milk, America’s first openly gay politician in San Francisco, in Gus Van Sant’s Milk. Not only his performance in Milk was excellent and inspirational, but so was his speech at the awards ceremony - my RESPECTS:

"... for those who saw the signs of hatred as our cars drove in tonight, I think that it is a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect and anticipate their great shame and the shame in their grandchildren's eyes if they continue that way of support. We've got to have equal rights for everyone. And there are, and there are, these last two things. I'm very, very proud to live in a country that is willing to elect an elegant man president and a country who, for all its toughness, creates courageous artists. [...]" (video)

Press room - Sean Penn

Also, my big RESPECTS to Dustin Lance Black who received the award for the Best Original Screenplay for Milk. What a moving acceptance speech:

"...When I was 13 years old, my beautiful mother and my father moved me from a conservative Mormon home in San Antonio, Texas to California, and I heard the story of Harvey Milk. And it gave me hope. It gave me the hope to live my life. It gave me the hope one day I could live my life openly as who I am and then maybe even I could even fall in love and one day get married. [...]

I wanna thank my mom, who has always loved me for who I am even when there was pressure not to. But most of all, if Harvey had not been taken from us 30 years ago, I think he'd want me to say to all of the gay and lesbian kids out there tonight who have been told that they are less than by their churches, by the government or by their families, that you are beautiful, wonderful creatures of value and that no matter what anyone tells you, God does love you and that very soon, I promise you, you will have equal rights federally, across this great nation of ours. Thank you. Thank you. And thank you, God, for giving us Harvey Milk." (video)

Press room - Dustin Lance Black

*photos - via

1 comment:

Ani said...

Dustin Black's speech was especially moving, and I had no idea he grew up in a Mormon family--wow!

Definitely the highlight of the show, which for those of us without giant television screens, was nearly illegible, especially the "tribute" section.