Dustin Lance Black is the Oscar-winning writer of Milk, the 2008 film about gay rights pioneer Harvey Milk.

Almost a year ago, I won an Oscar for writing Milk, a film about a famous gay-rights pioneer. My acceptance speech was a call for gay rights that got me lots of attention and plenty of hate mail. Then last summer, my film was banned by the college in the small Midwestern town where I was scouting my next project. It would have stayed that way, if not for an unlikely coalition of conservative local leaders, students, and a gay kid in short-shorts who fought to get the film its due—and gave the town some hope.