After being invited, shamefully uninvited, and then invited once more to speak at the 2014 graduation ceremony for Pasadena City College, award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black delivered an inspiring commencement speech in which he shared how he overcame obstacles in his own life and encouraged the graduates to “let your freaky differences shine,” reports the Examiner.
Before the 39-year-old stepped up to the podium to begin his speech Friday, he was introduced by a student who referred to Black as his “hero.” Black’s speech was met with thunderous applause from the filled-to-capacity stadium.
Black's speech also had an impact on the administrators who had previously uninvited Black from the speaking engagement, citing nude photos of Black and an ex-boyfriend that were leaked to the press shortly after Black won the Academy Award for Milk. One of those administrators declared Black’s speech, “one of the finest moments” in the history of Pasadena City College, according to the Examiner.
Watch excerpts from Black’s speech in the video below.