Lance Loud (June 26, 1951–December 22, 2001) was an openly gay columnist. He is probably best known for his role in An American Family, a pioneer reality show.
Lance was born in La Jolla, California, while his father was in the Navy during the Korean War. He spent his early childhood with his parents and four siblings in Eugene, Oregon, and his later childhood and teen years in Santa Barbara, California. When he was about 13, Lance discovered Andy Warhol (who later became a penpal with him), The Factory, and The Velvet Underground.
As a teenager, Lance commandeered the family car and drove a few friends to Haight-Ashbury to investigate the San Francisco neighborhood's renowned cultural scene. He hitchhiked to Altamont Raceway Park to attend The Rolling Stones concert that later became the subject of the documentary Gimme Shelter.
An American Family was broadcast in the US on PBS in 1973, drawing 10 million viewers and causing considerable controversy at the time. The show was based in Santa Barbara, California. Lance moved to New York City to live, inspired by his teenage obsession with the Velvet Underground and all things Warhol, where he frequented various rock clubs, and drag shows with luminaries such as Andy Warhol superstar Jackie Curtis (who later became a close Loud family friend), Holly Woodlawn, and productions by Charles Ludlam. After the series ended, Lance appeared on The Dick Cavett Show, performing with a working version of what would later become Mumps (which at that point included Delilah Michelle and Kevin in the line-up), and stated that he thought the filmmakers had intentionally edited the series to make him seem obnoxious and grating.
Loud became an international gay icon when he came out on national television, although Lance and all the Louds continue to assert he never "came out" on the series proper. His sexuality became a thing of national controversy and media scrutiny after several appearances on Dick Cavett and other talk shows. But the overwhelmingly positive and grateful feedback of thousands of struggling "outsiders" of all stripes from all over America led Lance to embrace this role with passion and his usual flamboyant, often self-derogatory wit.... [read more]