For me, growing up in Indiana with cornfields and churches, I was always very intrigued by the Academy Awards - they were a big event. That was the one night of the year when all of the glittering movie stars got together, and I used to love that night because, as a child, it was a way to dream for me.
Sometimes in entertainment, when people have done the Academy Awards - like, for example, in 'The Bodyguard' - I just didn't believe it; it didn't feel authentic.
I've gotten death threats, yes. I have. I think anytime you shine a spotlight on homosexuality or minorities and you try and say they are as normal or as worthy as acceptance as others, the people who are on the fringe don't like that and they will come after you. And they have come after me.
I had a very rocky, difficult, emotional childhood with my parents.
I'm not interested in anything but emotionally driven stories; that's why almost all of my work is exclusively anchored by women.
I've always felt I've related to women deeply because of being gay and feeling like there was always somebody trying to oppress me, to keep me down, to put me in my place.
All the things I have done at one point or another have fallen out of fashion, and there's nothing better than trying to bring something back to life.
I wanted to create a culture that allowed my children to see the world differently, if only from a strictly visual perspective: to have a child see a room where half of the people are women and minorities is so powerful. I think everyone wants for their children a world that's better than the one they came up in.
You can't be the enfant terrible when you have the enfant at home.
The only way to get through the life I had was just to have a big head of steam and determination.
When I was growing up my favorite show was 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show', and I loved all the stuff that Norman Lear did.
I'll ask the writers' room who they voted for Emmy awards, but I'll never ask who they voted for president.
I was very much raised by my grandmother, who actually was Bette Davis - looked like her, acted like her, talked like her. Probably, it was just out of my love and affection for my grandmother that I was interested in Bette.
With all of my work, it always takes a while for people to get it.
I actually think actors both are drawn to playing real-life historical people and are terrified.
I think when you take the big swings - and I've done plenty of big swings that I was told were never going to work - those are always the things that break through.
One thing I always do is just tell actors that I'm as afraid as they are, because I can sense that, and I feel it, too.
It's interesting when women direct. The work is better. They ask more people to participate.
I think the great thing about a television set is that it can be turned on and off, and you don't have to watch it if you think it's going to be something that you're not going to like or learn from.
I'm very black and white about what I like or don't like, and I've always been that way.
I'd never had a mentor in Hollywood. Men have always been in control of the business, and they usually mentor people who are like them - but two inches shorter.
I started off as a journalist when I was young and I did not get paid unless I wrote three stories a day.
If you look at 'American Horror Story' or 'Crime Story,' these are visceral, action-packed, sometimes bloody episodes of television. They're not 'feminine.' They're not about sexy women sitting around looking beautiful, drinking lattes. These episodes are calling cards to show companies like Marvel, 'Look, women can do these kind of movies.'
I was an altar boy, with a very strict father. And movies were always my escape.
I love Larry Kramer's advocacy, and I love him as a person, and I think young people need to see that story.
The Hollywood thing is - like, it feels like the biggest thing in the world, and yet it's the smallest town.
People think I'm just sort of this P. T. Barnum, razzle-dazzle guy. They think I go out of my way to be outlandish and theatrical at the expense of having emotions. They don't get that there's another side to me, and I keep trying to show that other side.
When I got my overall deal at Fox, I got amazing bosses in John Landgraf and Dana Walden and Peter Rice. For the first time ever, they said, 'Don't change who you are; be who you are. And write something you want to watch.' That thing was 'Glee,' and it took off from there.
I only wrote two fan letters in my life. One was to Bette Davis. And one was to Ron Palillo, who played Horshack on 'Welcome Back, Kotter.' And Ron did not write me back, but Bette Davis did.
I think everyone wants for their children a world that's better than the one they came up in.
I started off in this business in 1998, and I didn't fit in. There was no place for me, and I always felt like an oddball. Nobody really understood my work or what I wanted to do in my references.
In television and the movie business, the people who are promoted and the people who are mentored always look like the white guys.
I lean into fear because I feel like that excites me as an artist.
I think that the work that Bette Davis and Joan Crawford did was truly extraordinary, and that's their legacy. Not the other petty stuff.
I don't think there's ever a winner in a feud. It's about emotional pain and an inability to conquer the pain.
Even though 'Glee' is sometimes a hard road, I am very excited about writing a multi-year arc.
One of the unique things about 'American Horror Story' is, it's very respectful to actors. Actors in many cases don't want to be tied down to a seven-year contract. So my deal with the cast is: you're free after every year: you can come back, or you cannot come back.
Yeah, at home it's all moonbeams and puppy-dog tails, so I guess I do have a darker side - and I like writing about it.
You know, I'm very particular about my sheets. They have to be one hundred percent cotton, with a high thread count. Only cotton. No flannel.
I feel like I grew up in such a big way in the past couple of years, in a way that I never thought I would. You can't be the enfant terrible when you have the enfant at home.
Part of being an artist is being able to write about the world you live in and the times that you've been a part of.
I had been accepted to film school, but my parents couldn't afford it, and yet they made too much money for me to get a scholarship.
I think I have a pattern of nice and lovely and then dark and twisted.
At the end of the day, a divorce is a divorce, and a break-up is a break-up. They are essentially small matters of the heart. They are human stories.