R.I.P: Sean Sasser, AIDS Activist And MTV Star, Dead At 44

If you were around to remember the good old days of the early ‘Real World’ on MTV, you probably remember Pedro Zamora’s boyfriend Sean Sasser on season 3 which took place here in San Francisco. Sadly, Sasser has passed away and Dan Renzi (cast member of the Miami edition of the show) remembers him in Queerty:

Sasser entered the American consciousness as Pedro Zamora’s boyfriend on MTV’s The Real World: San Francisco, back in the early 1990s. Zamora passed away not long after the show ended, due to complications of the disease — some say the stress of the filming process led to his deterioration in health at a time when HIV medications were much less effective than they are today. Sasser lived on, working for numerous political and social organizations and becoming a well-known AIDS activist in his own right.

 

According to his life partner, Michael Kaplan, Sasser died of mesothelioma, a rare cancer of the lungs. No other information was released immediately about his medical condition, but mesothelioma has been linked to a weakened immune system in some people with AIDS.

Sasser may not be familiar to people who did not see his episodes of The Real World, and he did not live his life in the limelight after the show. But his one brief turn in front of the cameras was enough to make a major impact. Long before Ellen or Will & Grace showcased gay people on TV living mainstream lives, and before the magic of protease inhibitor “cocktails” turned HIV into a manageable disease, Sasser gave a brave face to both issues and brought those taboo topics to educate millions of young Americans.

And perhaps his early death is a stark reminder that for many, HIV is still a disease, a lesson he undoubtedly would not want anyone to forget and be proud survives him.

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Full story here: http://www.queerty.com/breaking-sean-sasser-aids-activist-dead-at-44-20130807/#ixzz2bQa7km1m

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About DanNation
Writer, gay blogger, tech addict and news junkie, DanNation grew up in Maine and resides in San Francisco and Sacramento with husband Rich and canines Puki and Sydney. He is in Year 9 of writing his DanNation blog. Feel free to submit stories, story ideas, photos and other items you'd think would interest our readers! Email: dannationblog@gmail.com.
  • Erick Seltzer

    I am very sad to see that Sean passed away … as a young gay man in my early 20s back in the early 90s, the love story that evolved between Sean and Pedro gave me promise to what could be our futures. I’m glad that he continued to live his life with grace and dignity until his death. As a gay man now in my early 40s and having been HIV+ myself for more than a decade, I have people like Sean and Pedro to thank for help giving me the strength to stand up for myself to say I was gay and there was nothing wrong with it! RIP Sean xo