Lance probably experienced the greatest amount of media exposure from the TV series. It was both a gift and a burden. He certainly seized the moment for all of the cache that it gave him to parties and celebrities. But this cataclysmic moment of his public affirmation of his homosexuality would eventually cast a shadow over his entire life.

In the end, Lance Loud found his particular kind of fame rather hollow. Nothing could ever measure up to that initial burst of fame and notoriety. In fact, Lance often spoke of not wanting to be perceived as a gay icon and a publicly homosexual figure. He preferred to be seen as an outsider, a rebel, someone always living on society’s edge. It was a hard act to follow and he spent years struggling to find himself. He went to some dark places in his life as a result, including years of substance abuse.

Lance has openly admitted that he injected drugs for about twenty years and as a result became infected with hepatitis C, a fatal liver infection with few medical cures at this time. The family supported Lance through his illness and he found this to be the most loving embrace of familial love. The last few months of his life were spent at the Carl Bean Hospice in Los Angeles where he received the care that he needed.
(visit for further hospice care information and HIV and hepatitas C co-infection resources)

Lance was always his harshest critic. The filmmakers found the experience of recording Lance’s reflections on his life to be an enormous responsibility as he would try to sort out his life and the road he had taken. The following excerpts are part of an exclusive interview recorded at the Carl Bean Hospice and reveal a more intimate view of his life.

Lance’s Last Interview:

Listen, the one thing about American Family you’ve got to understand is that show had legs, amongst the people who watched, it really touched a nerve, it was so sweet. People have run up to me, any where, many places and thanked me personally for helping inspire their lives or changed them or focused them or given them strength to carry on their own life.

We were there at the very beginning when there was no like media celebrity except for maybe newscasters. I didn’t mind being like a super swell success in front of people. I, was okay with what I got I guess. . I was in love with the idea that I had gained entry to a thing…. I couldn’t take that sort of failure anymore, the criticism that followed an American Family was just as strong as the fame and the notoriety.

At the same time, you took a tremendous amount of public criticism for being gay in a pre gay lib era so what happened to you probably would never happen again and that must have been a very difficult burden

Well that was a great deal of fuel for the fire of self doubt, you know. I was just very insecure about that but you know, you just go on.

So you do feel that a burden of being a public gay person at that time kind of marked you in some way?

No, that’s too easy a way out. I did more the marking on myself then having a weird persona. I was the one that was defiling myself. I was the one that was giving myself short shrift ,. I was the one that was denying myself and treating myself with extreme prejudice.

I mean the flip side of it is, there are a lot of people who watched you and strongly identified with you, young kids wrote you letters.

I hated the idea of people making a killing off of something. I was asked to put my name on some gay dance bar in the Valley and stuff like that. I thought it would damage whatever little magic there was in what I gave as just being this blundering human being. I thought it would cheapen it and that was one thing I don’t think I ever did, is cheapen my foolishness and my youthful exuberance and I think that was important.

I wasn’t aware of gay rights but, I was aware of my rights, you know. I happen to be a big fag and so there were shades of both and I’m glad that I helped people even inadvertently, I wish I could say it was all part of this brilliant plan of rebellion and it wasn’t really. But as I grew older, I began less to scorn the gay portion of our culture. I was less willing to scorn it then I was to say it’s cool. I’m glad that I helped give people the extra impetus to go on and be proud of themselves, being gay or being just extreme. I was more into the outsiders, I was more into outsider liberation really… the strange and the forgotten and the laughed at, those people.

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