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Here is an excerpt from Dustin Lance Black’s new memoir “Mama’s Boy” to be published April 30

The following is an exclusive excerpt via EW.com from Mama’s Boy: A Story from Our Americas by Dustin Lance Black, the Oscar-winning screenwriter behind Milk and LGBTQ activist known for his role in helping overturn the anti-gay California proposition 8. Black’s memoir traces his coming-of-age as a gay Mormon in Texas, and his relationship with his deeply religious mother.

My mom now lived in Manassas Park, in a house built right on top of the bloodied Civil War battlefields of Bull Run, where more than twenty-four thousand soldiers gave their lives in the debate over whether all men are created equally—a scar on our nation, reminding us of how divided we once were, and in many ways still are.

I had added a three-day layover via Dulles Airport in Virginia to my next love-fueled flight to London to see the Brit I was fast falling head over heels for. It was a little surprise visit to lift my mom’s spirits, and a big birthday present to myself. My mom cried with joy and relief when I walked into her bedroom. I spent all three days with her there. We blew out candles. We ate cake. We ordered in from a local restaurant and enjoyed our dinners on her bedroom floor. Then I opened the presents she’d ordered off her laptop from her perennial perch atop her bed.

She wasn’t feeling well, but that was nothing new. For a variety of reasons, big and small, she’d long been forced to use her not inconsiderable strength to fight off this illness or that. We’d done this ailment dance many times. We simply took advantage of her sleepless nights to share stories, watch NCIS, check out the Home Shopping Network’s jewelry specials and buy a few pairs of earrings she couldn’t afford on a military retirement check, sneak far too many Oreo cookies, and witness a sunrise. Her spirits were lifted by the company. So were mine.

Just before I left, my stepdad arrived home from work to take her to the doctor for a checkup, and get her some antibiotics for what she felt sure was a bladder infection. Love hungry and London bound, I ordered a cab to the airport.

It was a markedly quiet ride. I don’t remember music ever even being turned on. But then my cell phone rang. The caller ID said “Mom.” Nothing unusual. This was her regular call to say she missed me already, and I would say the same, because it was true. Instead, when I said hello, my stepdad’s trembling voice rang in my ears: “Your mother collapsed. In the garage. Her heart stopped. The medics got here. They did CPR and revived her, but she isn’t conscious. It’s bad, Lance. It’s really bad.”

Go to EW.com to read the rest of the except.

FILE UNDER: Books

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