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On the Bookshelves: Lance Out Loud

On the Bookshelves: Lance Out Loud


Lance Loud was the first out gay teenager that anybody could see on weekly television.

Lance Loud made it OK for me to be gay. I was still mostly closeted when the first reality television show, An American Family, aired in 1973. But after seeing Lance Loud's aggressively nervy and flamboyant insistence on being himself for the PBS series, I wore red lipstick to school and covered my entire bedroom (in my parents' house) in silver foil. As a newly hired graphic artist here, being able to meet Lance while he was writing a column for The Advocate was the best celebrity meeting I have ever had.

Lance went on to meet his own celebrity idols after the show aired, most especially Andy Warhol, whose film style certainly influenced the "nothing really happening here" style of An American Family. And he became a journalist, club kid, celebrity stalker, and party boy. The stuff that role models are made of.

Most of the episodes of An American Family are on YouTube. And there are old Advocate columns to read. But the publication of the book Lance Out Loud (Glitterati Incorporated), written by his mother, Pat Loud, and edited by close friend and renowned photographer Christopher Makos, gives us a huge slice of Lance Loud in 240 color pages of photos, journals, artwork, and ephemera that paints the richest, deepest portrait of him to date. Kudos to Pat and Christopher for letting the images, notes, souvenirs, and moving photographs of Lance speak for him.

If you are a guy of a certain age looking at the images in this book, you will laugh and cry and remember how adorable and sexy Lance was. Like a gay Zelig, he seems to have been everywhere at once. He went from being an ambitious young teen in Santa Barbara writing fan letters to Andy Warhol to the most famous gay guy in America, to a rock star, culture critic, bon vivant, and finally a mature man who looked back on his life with wisdom and not a little sadness.

(Read this editorial written by Lance for The Advocate right before he died of complications from hep C and HIV.)

Lance-christopherx633_0 Christopher Makos and Lance Loud

Ll-book-003-by-chris-makosx633_0 Photo by Christopher Makos

Ll-book-127-by-chris-makosx633_0 Photo by Christopher Makos

Ll-book-063-by-chris-makosx633_0 Photo by Christopher Makos

Ll-book-052-by-chris-makosx633_0 Lance Loud (left), Christopher Makos (center), and Ann Magnuson


Pat-loudx633_0 Pat Loud (left) with Lance during filming of An American Family

Below: Video of Pat Loud on Lance Out Loud

A clip from the television show An American Family showing Lance and his mother.

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