Characters Unite Event

USA Network and The Moth combat discrimination and prejudice through stories

“We’re going to begin before Uncle Nathan has to shave again,” host Nathan Lane said after finally popping onstage to introduce the storytellers at A More Perfect Union: Stories of Prejudice and Power A Characters Unite Storytelling Event. Whew. A mouthful. But words are important and they were very important at this event where one story was more powerful and touching than the next. Oscar-winning Milk screenwriter (and Prop. 8 playwright) Dustin Lance Black told his story of coming out to his mother, something he had never told anyone until he went behind the microphone at the Pacific Design Center. “You have to come out daily to people. Everyone has their coming out story. But I’ve never told mine,” he said. He even inspired Nathan Lane to share how he told his mother and how she finally accepted him. Folks like Tim King (Founder of the Urban Prep Academies), Aimee Mullins (an athlete and model who had both legs amputated below the knee when she was a toddler), Greg Walloch (a comedian with cerebral palsy) and actress Octavia Spencer all told wonderful stories. All of which will stick with me long after this event. There were drinks and nibbles before the “show” plus more afterwards and a fine performance by John Legend. I left during Legend’s last song (I know, I know) only to be punished for heading out early—all the power went out in the PDC while I was on the highest escalator. I hoofed it the rest of the way. Better down than up, I guess.

Photographs courtesy USA Network