Dustin Lance Black, 2009: When Dustin Lance Black was awarded the Best Screenplay statuette for his film Milk, the screenwriter thanked the film’s subject, politician Harvey Milk, for representing all that a gay man could be, proving how important representation is.
"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," he explained. "And it gave me hope. It gave me the hope to live my life, it gave me the hope to one day live my life openly as who I am and that maybe even I could fall in love and one day get married."
He continued: "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 or 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." (Photo via Kevin Winter/ Getty Images)