Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Lance Out Loud

The Advocate ran a nice piece about Lance Loud, part of An American Family, the ur-reality show, and the first openly gay person on television. Include is a link to an editorial he wrote for The Advocate shortly before his death from complications of HIV and Hepatitis C.

I hot my teen years at the height of AIDS panic.  The first openly gay person I knew died from it. Most of the messages I got about sex were negative. Not just morally (which would have had little effect on me), but in the sense that sex will kill you. I think that's why I've always been fascinated with the post-Stonewall, but pre-HIV era of hedonism. In the documentary Public Speaking, Fran Lebowitz said an entire generation was lost.

Although An American Family can easily be viewed through a lens of exploitation, and Lance as merely "famous for being famous," there wasn't a template for that in 1973.