Living Out Loud



CINEMA VERITE 4 X390 (HBO) | ADVOCATE.COMWhat do you see as the full effect that Lance being openly gay had on viewers of that era?
Springer Berman: Before we finished the film, we [had] little screenings for friends, and family, and other filmmakers. So many people said to us, “Why didn’t you include the scene where Lance comes out?” And we were like, “Because he doesn’t. There isn’t that scene in the documentary.” And I had people say to me, “But I remember it. I watched it.” Totally convinced that there’s a scene you know where Lance actually comes out. And I’m like, “No, believe me. I watched this documentary from beginning to end several times.”

He doesn’t really ever sit down and have that conversation. It seems as if he had that conversation prior to the documentary and that he was just being Lance. But the fact that so many people believed that he came out and so many people were moved and inspired by it is just — I think he was a huge pioneer. He was someone who was very committed to being Lance Loud, who he was. He didn’t change his persona. He wasn’t afraid; he was incredibly brave. He is credited as being the first openly gay person on television. And from what I hear from people that I’ve spoken to, it was incredibly important in the gay rights movement and gave a lot of people confidence and courage. It gave mothers of gay sons and daughters the confidence to support them the way Pat did and to, you know, love them. I think it was a very, very important cultural touchstone.

I really liked how your film depicts Lance’s siblings as thinking his eccentricities make him much more interesting than they are.
Springer Berman: Well, it’s totally there in the documentary.

Pulcini: And it’s totally there if you actually meet the siblings today. You know they were very proud of him.

Springer Berman: They all thought that Lance was hysterical and funny, which apparently he was. I wasn’t lucky enough to meet him, but I feel like I know him because I’ve spent so much time reading his writing and looking at the movie. And he seems like he was just a magnetic, brilliant, talented guy. And I think the kids were not ashamed of him. They were not embarrassed. They were proud of him, and they thought he was fun and funny and charming, and it seemed like they looked up to him.

Tags: television