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No Shame :: Dustin Lance Black Responds After College Rejects Him

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Friday Apr 18, 2014
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Dustin Lance Black
Dustin Lance Black  (Source:AP Photo)

Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black was asked to be the commencement speaker at his alma mater, Pasadena City College, but officials from the school took back their invitation after they learned Black had been involved in an explicit sex scandal, according to the Pasadena City College Courier.

Black, however, fired back in an open letter in Out magazine, and defended himself and the sex pics that leaked online in 2009.

This morning, I woke up to the headline that I have been disinvited to speak at my Alma Mater. The reasoning: That I was involved in a ’scandal’ in 2009 regarding extremely personal photographs that were put up on Internet gossip sites of me and my ex-boyfriend.

For too long now I’ve sat silent on this issue. That ends here and now and with this sentence: I did nothing wrong and I refuse to be shamed for this any longer.

In 2009 a group of people surreptitiously lifted images from my ex’s computer and shopped them around to gossip sites in a money making scheme. These were old images from a far simpler time in my life, a time before digital camera phones and Internet scandals. They were photos of me with a man I cared for, a man who shared my Mormon background, and who was also struggling with who he was versus where he came from. And yes, we were doing what gay men do when they love and trust each other, we were having sex. I have never lied about my sexuality. If you invade my privacy, this is what you will find. I have sex. It brings me joy, fosters intimacy and helps love grow. I hope anyone reading this can say the same for themselves and for their parents.

In the eyes of anyone who has seen the devastating effects this trespass has had on me personally, creatively and professionally over these many years, in the eyes of my mother and friends who have held me as I’ve cried, and under the blind scrutiny of the law of this land, I am the victim of this "scandal," not the perpetrator.

With this cruel act, PCC’s Administration is punishing the victim. And I ask you this: If I was a heterosexual man or woman with this same painful injury in my past, would PCC’s Administration still be rescinding such an honor?

Black added: "In fact, PCC is now only the second institution to ever blame me for what happened in 2009. The first was Hope College in Michigan whose Dean pro-actively made a statement openly admitting he did not want a pro-LGBT message on his campus. It seems to me that same animus is at play here now."

PCC’s administrators released a statement this week, disinviting Black as commencement speaker, citing two scandals the college recently went through, involving professor Hugo Schwyzer, nicknamed "porno professor," who admitted to sleeping with students and showing nude photos of himself to students.

"With the porno professor and the sex scandals we’ve had on campus this last year, it just didn’t seem like the right time for Mr. Black to be the speaker," Board President Anthony Fellow said in a statement. "We’ll be on the radio and on television. We just don’t want to give PCC a bad name."

Black, 39, recently made headlines when it was revealed that he is dating 19-year-old British Olympic diver Tom Daley, who recently came out as gay.

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