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Sunday Night Video: See part of Dustin Lance Black’s Pasadena City College commencement address

Dustin Lance Black spoke to graduates at his alma mater Pasadena City College on Friday and I wanted to share video of part of his speech with you.

The video doesn’t show it but the Los Angeles Times quotes Lance as saying: “Hoo! I made it!”

He sure did – all the way from the UK where he is now living for part of the time with boyfriend Tom Daley.

Lance then said:  “I’ll tell ya. I have been blessed. Blessed with honors, blessed with invitations to speak at esteemed institutions around the country, around the world, but I say if you measure the weight of an honor by the amount of work it takes to actually get there, well, this might damn well be the biggest honor of my entire life.”

It’s an honor that almost didn’t happen thanks to the major bumbling of some college officials – PCC President Mark W. Rocha, Deputy Superintendent Robert Bell and Pasadena Area Community College District Board of Trustees President Anthony Fellow – who caused a public relations nightmare for the college.

They somehow thought this accomplished and amazing man, one of their institution’s most illustrious grads, would bring embarrassment to the school because of some photos of him shared online five years ago by people looking to cash in on his newfound fame as an Academy Award winner for writing Milk.

But Lance didn’t take it out on the students and agreed to speak even after being disinvited and spoke of disrespectfully.

He told his coming out story during his 30 minute speech and gave some advice to the grads: “Other people’s opinions are none of your business. Not on Twitter, not on Facebook and not in any school or institution. … Your business is to define you … to find your passion and to build your life.”

He has done so – magnificently.

FILE UNDER: Newsmakers


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