Dustin Lance Black, Oscar-winning screenwriter and diver Tom Daley’s beau, has encouraged closeted sportsmen to come out in a bid to save young LGBTI lives.
“It’s incredibly brave to come out. I understand that for some people that’s difficult,” Dustin told the UK’s Press Association.
“They need to keep their personal life personal and that’s their choice. I don’t begrudge them for that. To those who do come out and make that brave act, you’re saving lives. They truly are.
“There are a lot more gay kids out there who love football and want to play football and could be stars in football, but they’re afraid. They’re afraid they’ll be judged and they’re afraid they’ll bring shame to themselves or their family.
“I urge more sportsmen, actors, people in the public eye to come out and dispel those myths, those lies and that shame.”
Dustin’s fiance, Olympic diver Tom Daley, came out in 2013 in a YouTube video that’s been watched over 12 million times. The pair got engaged in January last year.
The UK’s Football Association Chief recently said he had spoken to gay athletes and suggested a number of closeted UK pro footballers could synchronise their coming out, should they want to.
Dustin is currently promoting the new LGBTI rights miniseries he wrote and produced for TV, “When We Rise,” that tells the story of a group of LGBTI Americans who helped pioneer the gay rights movement following the 1969 Stonewall Riots.
Aussies Guy Pearce and Rachel Griffiths star in the miniseries as activists Cleve Jones and Diane Guy.
Dustin explained earlier this month that the series was a “dramatized retelling of powerful stories” that he researched for more than a year.
“It was important to me in deciding who to depict that many, if not most [of the activists] are still alive,” he said.
“I do hope that a new generation looks to these people for more inspiration. We need them more than ever.
“‘We’ is the most important word in the title.”
Watch the trailer for When We Rise below: