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.”

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