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04/19/2007


Sean Sasser, AIDS Activist Whose Wedding to Pedro Zamora on MTV's 'Real World' Broke Barriers, Dies: VIDEO

Sasser

Sean Sasser (left), the AIDS activist whose 1994 on-screen marriage to Pedro Zamora shortly before Zamora's death was groundbreaking in giving a face to gay relationships and those living with HIV, has died. Sasser was 44.

Judd Winick, one of Zamora's friends and fellow cast members, announced his death on Tuesday night on Twitter, writing, "Our friend Sean Sasser has died. Our love goes out to his family & husband Michael. We will miss u so much."

Wrote Dan Renzi:

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.

Watch Sean and Pedro's wedding ceremony from the San Francisco season of The Real World (begins about halfway through) and a 1996 interview with Sasser, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Sean Sasser, AIDS Activist Whose Wedding to Pedro Zamora on MTV's 'Real World' Broke Barriers, Dies: VIDEO" »


Bill Clinton Talks About Importance of Pedro Zamora, HIV Prevention

Bill-clinton

Former President Bill Clinton introduced Pedro, the MTV biopic about the life of the late Real World cast member and AIDS activist Pedro Zamora, which aired last night.

It's sitting on my DVR but I haven't had a chance to watch it yet. Thoughts anyone?

Watch Clinton's message, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Bill Clinton Talks About Importance of Pedro Zamora, HIV Prevention" »


News: Wanda Sykes, Mercy, PETA, Kara GioGuardi, Banksy


 roadTony Dungy, anti-gay former head of the Indianapolis Colts, is asked to serve on Obama's Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Banksybill roadMan pays for car wash with Banksy bill: "This chap gave us the note and said 'keep the change - it's worth a lot more than ten pounds!'."

 roadFirst photo of Mercy as paparazzi trails Madonna in Malawi.

 road"A fuller answer is needed.": The SF Chronicle on the case of Shirley Tan and Jay Mercado and the need for the Uniting American Families Act to pass.

 roadNo fooling: DVD-quality workprint of X-Men: Wolverine leaks to the internet.

 roadPedroPedro airs tonight.

 roadMelbourne Catholic Archdiocese denies it is "testing" prospective priests for homosexuality.

 roadWanda Sykes gets new show on Fox: "The Sykes show, which is expected to launch in the fall, would fill the void left by the recently canceled sketch series 'MadTV.' Hourlong show would air at 11 p.m. According to Broadcasting & Cable, which first broke the news, the Sykes skein would look more like a panel series similar to Bill Maher's HBO show, as opposed to a regular talker. Beyond the topical panel discussions, the series also will follow Sykes as she shoots field segments."

Statham  roadJason Statham cools off in Malibu.

 roadJoe the Plumber still doesn't know crap about anything.

 roadYoung and the Restless actress Clementine Ford and Broadway's Hair star Gavin Creel both say: "I'm gay."

 roadEndangered wildlife "camera traps" will soon tie in to Google Earth: "Cameras equipped with infrared triggers, known as camera traps, are used to identify, count and observe larger mammals in isolated areas. Now researchers from Earthwatch are adding the latest images from their camera traps in Ecuador's cloud forests to Google Earth. They hope to raise awareness of endangered species, encouraging donations and attracting tourists to the region to support conservation efforts."


 roadHow 'bout some beefy Mehcad Brooks?

 roadGroup to train LGBT people in civil disobedience.

 roadJudge allows Lawrence King's teen killer Brandon McInerney to attend his father's funeral: "Ventura County Superior Court Judge James Cloninger ruled Monday that Brandon McInerney can temporarily leave juvenile hall for the funeral. The date for the private family service hasn't been disclosed."

 roadPETA puts Cloris Leachman in cabbage.

Cytwombly roadWho knew that filmmaker John Waters is a fan of the often inscrutable fine art doodler Cy Twombly?

 roadStash of gay porn magazines causes fuss at Aberdeen, UK City Council office: "I have taken the liberty of removing these and they are available in my office to be collected should the owner wish to do so."

 road"Broken record": American Idol judge Kara GioGuardi hit by audience backlash. What you didn't see...

 roadGay indie artist Chris Garneau set to release second album.

 roadSoap opera Home and Away's lesbian kiss causes stir in Australia: "About 20 people gathered in Melbourne's Federation Square for a mass 'kiss-off' as the episode went to air on Tuesday night, despite an announcement by broadcaster Channel Seven that the programme would be shown in its entirety."


News: Pedro Zamora, Pakistan, Judy Shepard, Venezuela, Adam Senn

 road18-year-old Seattle man charged with anti-gay hate crime after confrontation on bus followed by attempted robbery.

Zamora  roadFamily in attendance at capacity premiere of MTV biopic about late former Real World housemate and AIDS activist Pedro Zamora. Pictured, Zamora's sister Mily and star Alex Loynaz.

 roadA shirtless Ed Westwick spotted proving he loves women.

 roadGay Pakistani man now living in New York tells Newsweek how a threat forced him out of the closet in Karachi: "He told me to drive again, and as we drove around for what seemed like hours, I had a vague sense that I needed to play his game and find a way to survive this ordeal. He demanded that I admit homosexuality was a sin, and I eventually complied. I also promised to meet him at a hotel the following day, where he would tell me how much money he wanted. He warned me that he had my car's license-plate number, and that he'd track me down if I didn't show."

 roadCiara debuts new video for "Love Sex Magic" with Justin Timberlake.

Wildthing  roadA whole bundle of Wild Things photos now out in the wild...

 roadGQ profile on gay bishop Gene Robinson, Hendrik Hertzberg's New Yorker editorial on Prop 8 victory among nominees for National Magazine Awards.

 roadMuslim cleric Anjem Choudary calls for gays to be stoned to death at London press conference: "'If a man likes another man, it can happen, but if you go on to fulfil your desire, if it is proved, then there is a punishment to follow. You don't stone to death unless there are four eyewitnesses. It is a very stringent procedure. 'There are some people who are attracted to donkeys but that does not mean it is right.'"

 roadThe son of poet Sylvia Plath, who took her own life at 30 by gassing herself in an oven, hanged himself at home after a battle with depression.

Arson  roadGay Missouri man who claimed his businesses were targeted by an arsonist because he's gay is charged with burning the businesses himself: "The fires destroyed the three businesses and investigators said graffiti left at the fire scene initially appeared to support Thornton's claims to media outlets that he was being targeted for his sexual orientation and that the arson was a hate crime. Larson and Smith were charged Thursday following an investigation by Stockton police, the state fire marshal's office and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms."

 roadAlleged anti-gay attack in Atlanta questioned after surveillance cameras reveal nothing: Atlanta police "not taking stand" on legitimacy of hate crime.

 roadMale model fix: The City's Adam Senn.

Hookies  roadHookies: Even gay hustlers have their own awards show.

 roadFigure skaters getting pulled into a sequined vortex. Johnny Weir: "To be accepted worldwide, American skaters need to understand that excess is necessary. And yes, I take credit for that. I'm a firm believer that if you're a figure skater, you should wear a figure skating costume. You can't just wear all black and skate to Beethoven. There needs to be a story, and you're the storyteller."

 roadLesbian couple boycotts Napa after City Council declines to pass resolution supporting same-sex marriage.

 roadVenezuela's 'Organic Bill for Gender Equality' on fast track: "it would include language allowing 'the union between two people of the same gender' in the form of something she called 'co-inhabiting associations'."

 roadJudy Shepard brings message of need for tolerance to 4,000 professional school counselors in Charlotte, North Carolina.

 roadVancouver Fountainhead Pub assault not likely to be labeled a hate crime because those involved were playing pool together beforehand?: "The victim of the assault, Ritchie Dowie, a father of two, remains in grave condition in hospital with massive head injuries and is not expected to recover. The incident occurred in the Fountainhead Pub on Davie St., March 13, at about 8 p.m. Vancouver’s gay community have labeled the assault a hate crime following allegations that Woodward called Dowie a 'faggot' when he was apprehended by other patrons of the pub following the assault. Woodward’s counsel Joel Whysall said Friday that there was no evidence a hate crime had been committed."


Film on Life of Real World's Pedro Zamora to Air - Watch Trailer

Pedro

A TV movie about the life of Pedro Zamora, the MTV Real World cast member who became one of the first and most important faces of the AIDS epidemic in the early 90's when the story of his battle against the disease and activism against it, as well as his relationship with Sean Sasser, became known to millions, will be broadcast on MTV, MTVU, LOGO and MTV3 on April 1st.

PedroposterPedro will premiere this weekend on the closing night of the Outfest Fusion film festival in Los Angeles at the Egyptian theatre.

It's a story, as we know, that does not end happily, but Zamora gave hope to millions who contracted HIV. The film's screenplay was written by Oscar-winning Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black. The film is directed by Nick Oceano, executive produced by Paris Barclay, and produced by Quinceanera producers Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland.

The trailer for Pedro, which stars Alex Loynaz in a retelling of the story, follows AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Film on Life of Real World's Pedro Zamora to Air - Watch Trailer" »


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