An American Family’s Lance Loud dies; came out during 1973 show.

An American Family’s Lance Loud dies; came out during 1973 show.
One of the stars of the first dramatic, episodic, soap-opera like reality TV show died last Saturday. In 1973, 12 episodes of PBS’ An American Family followed the Loud family over a period of seven months. During the show, Lance’s parents separated, and Lance came out to them as gay on national television. After the show, Loud went on to play in a band, the Mumps, and write as a freelance journalist. Loud, who was HIV-positive, died from hepatitis C-related complications. In an essay he wrote for The Advocate shortly before his death, he wrote that he came out during the show “more out of laziness than activism,” and says of the request to write about his “accomplishments” in 2001, “So what was my ‘triumph’ this past year? As with my ‘feat’ on An American Family, I was, once again, merely myself.”

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.