My mom knew early on that I was gay, and she knew that I had to get out of the ghetto. And so she hit up my next-door neighbor, who was a butler — hence The Butler. And he was the butler for Ed Snyder, who was the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles.
“I drove out every day to a world of white people. And that world opened my life into a magical place that I don’t think I would’ve known.
“Most of my friends are dead. I watched friends die in my arms at 5, 6, 8. When I grew up the rest of my friends died of AIDS. That I don’t have HIV is a miracle from God.
“So this evening is for my mom, because she knew I was destined for something — what that something is, I don’t know. But I love her from the bottom of my heart, and I honor her tonight, because this is really for her.
“Clara — Mom — stand up.”