Dustin Lance Black has finally spoken at a college graduation ceremony, despite initially being banned from speaking after explicit photos of him leaked online.
Milk screenwriter Black, who is dating Olympic diver Tom Daley, was uninvited from speaking at Pasadena City College last month after the leaked photos resurfaced.
Earlier this month, the speaker booked to replace Black, Dr Eric Walsh, was himself the centre of a controversy after it emerged he had made homophobic comments.
Walsh was eventually also uninvited from the ceremony, and after a campaign by students, Black was once again asked to give the speech.
Speaking at the ceremony today, he jokingly referred to the incident.
He said: “I have been blessed. Blessed with honours, blessed with invitations to speak at esteemed institutions around the country, around the world, but I say if you measure the weight of an honour by the amount of work it takes to actually get there, well, this might damn well be the biggest honour of my entire life.”
In the half-hour speech he urged students to not pay heed to negative comments, saying: “Other people’s opinions are none of your business. Not on Twitter, not on Facebook and not in any school or institution”.
He called for an end to intolerance, saying: “It must end! I’m asking you to pick up that torch and run with it.
“The passion to do so comes from the ways you are different, not the way you are the same. We’re all different together.”
Student President Jordyn Orozco introduced Black, labelling him a hero, and joking: “I’m glad that he accepted the invite (again)”.
Watch a clip from the speech below: