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.”

The book in question is Mama’s Boy:

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