Thursday, August 08, 2013

RIP: Sean Sasser, AIDS Activist and Early MTV 'Real World' Star, Is Dead at 44

Things got all too real in San Francisco

Sad to read about the passing of Sean Sasser, best remembered as the boyfriend of Pedro Zamora on the third season of "The Real World." 

With partner Michael Kaplan

Fellow "Real World" alum Dan Renzi reports on Queerty:
According to his life partner, Michael Kaplan, Sasser died of mesothelioma, a rare cancer of the lungs. [Typically associated with asbestos inhalation.] 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.   
The news is especially shocking as just three months ago the Washington Blade wrote a review of the restaurant in D.C. where Sasser had recently moved and started working as a pastry chef, that quickly turned into a love letter to everyone's favorite early '90s boyfriend. (Kaplan led the relocation to the East Coast to become president and CEO of AIDS United.) As you can see, Sean was just beaming and full of life in the photo. Prior to moving to Washington, he and Kaplan were living in Oregon, where they were foster parents to a little girl named Alice. What was supposed to be a two-week stint -- she was 4 when she arrived -- lasted a year and a half before she was eventually adopted by her aunt. 

Although their relationship was under terrifying circumstances, watching Sean be strong and stand by Pedro was a character-building lesson for me as a young gay man. My condolences to everyone who loved him. His legacy will most certainly live on.

In the kitchen at the West End eatery RIS


Chad said...

This is the first I'm hearing about this news. So sad. I too was immensely efffected by his relationship with Pedro. Thanks for sharing. RIP

Anonymous said...

A sweet couple. Pedro and Sean were heroes, whose lives inspired love. I am sad now.

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to Michael- may he rest within the peace of love-