Hilary Swank Says LGBT Progress Made Her Cry

Hilary Swank broke new ground in film when she starred as real-life transgender man Brandon Teena in Boys Don’t Cry. That was in 1999, and the world has changed a lot since then, in some ways. W...
Hilary Swank Says LGBT Progress Made Her Cry
Written by Mike Tuttle

Hilary Swank broke new ground in film when she starred as real-life transgender man Brandon Teena in Boys Don’t Cry. That was in 1999, and the world has changed a lot since then, in some ways.

With the Supreme Court decision last week that legalized marriages for LGBT folks, Hilary Swank is beside herself with joy. She did a lot more work in that arena that many people may not be aware of.

“I broke into tears [when I heard about the SCOTUS decision],” Swank told HuffPost Live. “It’s been a really long time coming, and it’s just such a beautiful moment for everybody.”

Swank spoke of the wide acceptance of Caitlyn Jenner and the shifting tide in America toward LGBT acceptance.

“I think it’s extraordinary. In 1999, I filmed Boys Don’t Cry. It was one of the first movies that touched on these types of stories, that was widely accepted. It was obviously a true story that deals with these hate crimes. I then became a spokesperson for the Gay, Lesbian and Transgendered Questioning Youth Organization, the Hetrick-Martin Institute here in New York City for ten years after that. I was able to spend time with the youth there and be really hands-on with them.”

The Hetrick-Martin Institute specifically addresses the safety of LGBT youth, advocating that “all young people — regardless of sexual orientation or identity — deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to thrive.”

Hilary Swank got to see the need for that first-hand when working with the Institute.

“They had an accredited high school that was built while I was working there. In New York City, 100 percent of them said that every single day they were abused either physically or mentally — every single day in New York City. So, it’s extraordinary to see how far we’ve come.”

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