This heartfelt, deeply personal memoir explores how a celebrated filmmaker and activist and his conservative Mormon mother built bridges across today's great divides—and how our stories hold the power to heal.
Dustin Lance Black wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay for Milk and helped overturn California's anti–gay marriage Proposition 8, but as an LGBTQ activist he has unlikely origins—a conservative Mormon household outside San Antonio, Texas. His mother, Anne, was raised in rural Louisiana and contracted polio when she was two years old. She endured brutal surgeries, as well as braces and crutches for life, and was told that she would never have children or a family. Willfully defying expectations, she found salvation in an unlikely faith, raised three rough-and-rowdy boys, and escaped the abuse and violence of two questionably devised Mormon marriages before finding love and an improbable career in the U.S. civil service.
By the time Lance came out to his mother at age twenty-one, he was a blue-state young man studying the arts instead of going on his Mormon mission. She derided his sexuality as a sinful choice and was terrified for his future. It may seem like theirs was a house destined to be divided, and at times it was. This story shines light on what it took to remain a family despite such division—a journey that stretched from the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court to the woodsheds of East Texas. In the end, the rifts that have split a nation couldn't end this relationship that defined and inspired their remarkable lives.
Mama's Boy is their story. It's a story of the noble quest for a plane higher than politics—a story of family, foundations, turmoil, tragedy, elation, and love. It is a story needed now more than ever.
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by Michael Ian Black
by Lance Erlick
by Lance Weller
by Millenia Black
by Daniel Black
by Cara Black
by Jay Martel
"Dustin Lance Black, Academy Award-winning screenwriter and LGBTQ activist, narrates his family's heartwarming and poignant journey growing up across intersections of faith, poverty, and sexuality in the southern U.S. and California. Black's conversational storytelling illuminates his cherished mother Anne's irrepressible spirit and tenacity in the face of adversity and boundless possibility. Mother and son's powerful connection, forged through a lifetime of shared experiences and love, forms the heart of Black's memoir. Anne's childhood in polio treatment centers, perseverance through two abusive marriages and the raising of three sons, and pursuit of professional fulfillment are recalled in a voice that evokes deep emotions. Their relationship evolves through his film school years, coming out, and fight for marriage equality. Manifest throughout is Black's passion for storytelling, family, and LGBTQ rights. J.R.T. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine"
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