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Lance Loud Celebrated

By Matthew Breen

Lance Loud became a gay icon for his appearance in the 1973 groundbreaking reality TV program, An American Family, which tracked the Louds, an upper-middle-class family in Santa Barbara, California. Lance came out during the course of the series, and consequently he’s credited as the first openly gay character on television—despite his being an actual person. The controversy sparked by his coming out, his flamboyance, and his sense of humor, led him to appearances on Dick Cavett and other talk shows.

He was also a rock musician, fronting the band Mumps, mainstays on the Max’s/CBGB circuit for nearly five years, playing on the same bill as The Ramones, Blondie, Cheap Trick, and Van Halen. He was later a journalist and columnist, writing for The Advocate, Details, and Interview.

He was also the subject of the documentary Lance Loud! A Death in An American Family, a depiction of his decline and death due to crystal meth use and complications from HIV.

His mother Pat Loud has written a lavish coffee table book, Lance Out Loud and on June 30 the Trepany House at the Steve Allen theater in Los Angeles hosts a wild celebration, including music from Mumps. Featured guest is Pat Loud, who will sign copies of the book.

Mumps songs will be interpreted (at the direction of former Mumps Kristian Hoffman) by Ann Magnuson, Prince Poppycock (America’s Got Talent), Todd Lowe (Terry Bellefleur from True Blood), and a host of others

Free wine will reportedly be served, which apparently would never have happened at CBGB. Tickets are available here.

READ: The Ultimate Gay TV Timeline

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