We have a generational divide in terms of vocabulary. People ask him, ‘Do you think J. Edgar Hoover was gay?’ And he says, ‘I don’t know.’ And for a man who just directed this film, that’s a surprising answer, because I think the audience walks away with a clear impression [that he was]. But for Clint Eastwood and his generation, to be gay means a sexual act. And for him to know means that he would need proof of that sexual act. And I’ve had this conversation, and I’ve said, ‘For my generation, you don’t ever have to have sex to be gay or lesbian. It’s a part of your nature. It’s who you are. It’s who you bond with, who you fall in love with.’ So we have a divide in terms of vocabulary.
— Dustin Lance Black on how he and Clint Eastwood, who directed the film, differed on their vocabulary