Lance Loud, America’s First Gay Reality Star, Subject Of New Biography

In 1973, the first real reality show, An American Family, hit the airwaves and audiences were introduced to the Loud family—including in-your-face gay son, Lance Loud.

After decades as a provocative writer and rock musician, Lance died of AIDS-related illness in 2001, but the Loud family came back into focus last year in the HBO docudrama Cinema Verite.

Now Lance’s mom, Pat Loud, has gathered original correspondence, writing and photos from her son—as well as recollections from friends like Debbie Harry, Rufus Wainwright and Andy Warhol—for the new biography Lance Out Loud.

Pat worked closely with artist and editor Christopher Makos, a longtime friend to Lance, on the book. “I have known Christopher since he was a kid,” she told PBS 13. “Lance met him in New York and he came to stay with us in ’72 for a week, so I’ve known him that long.”

She also recalls Lance’s friendship with Warhol, which began when her son was only 13: “One time, Lance told me he was going to run away and go to New York. He got downtown in Santa Barbara and he called Andy, and Andy talked him out of it. He came home and waited a few more years! I’m sure [Andy] was thinking, ‘I don’t want this kid hanging around my house!’”

The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh will be holding an author signing for Lance out Loud on November 9.