You were inspired by Harvey Milk when you were a kid, when you were 13 and saw someone like you at the Oscars, what do you think that would have done for you as a kid?
I didn’t hear that as a 13 year old kid, I hope it makes you feel a bit less alone. It’s easy in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago because you can find support and mentors and heroes. But where I’m from and small town America, they don’t know that there are gay heroes, and other gay people, and a beautiful future. I mean look at this, I hope it inspires some folks…
Working on a screenplay like you did, did you ever have a dream of an Oscar moment? Did the expectation meet what you felt?
It’s all sort of an out of body thing. At first I was just charging gasoline on my credit card, and there was no studio. Your dream is, don’t screw it up, first of all, and second it’s, ‘Let’s get it to a great director, and Gus got it to Sean and the very next thing in front of you, all of a sudden four weeks ago was a nomination… Maybe when I see my mom in a few minutes, I’ll believe it.
Did you know what you were going to say when you got up there?
I had an idea… For me, the whole thing was sort of to pay it forward. Harvey gave me his story [cries]…and it saved my life. And I just thought it’s time to pass it on… to tell those kids out there that they’re gonna be all right
Was there something your mom said to you right before you came here tonight or were on the red carpet, was there anything she said that struck a chord with you?
She just says I cant believe we’re here, think of where we came from. We were like a broke family, my single mom raising us for a long time, until my beautiful stepdad came along. For her, shes completely overwhelmed and she just does what she always does. This is a Mormon woman who should not be accepting or loving, and she just says I love you and i hope you fall in love like I did.