— blackSoULking (@blackSoULking) August 8, 2013
Sean Sasser, a renowned AIDS activist has died aged 44, reports Buzzfeed.
Here’s what you need to know…
1. MTV Audiences of the 1990s Will Fondly Remember Sasser From The Real World
Sasser entered the public sphere with his appearance on the MTV nineties staple The Real World: San Francisco. Sasser was the boyfriend of one of the featured cast members, Pedro Zamora. The couple were eventually married on the show. Zamora died soon after the season finished of a HIV related illness. Sasser had stated that the stress of appearing on the show contributed to his deterioration.
2. He Became a Prominent AIDS Activist
Zamora’s death prompted Sasser to dedicate his life to AIDS/HIV activism.
3. Sasser Died of Mesothelioma
Sasser’s partner, Michael Kaplan, confirmed his boyfriend’s passing. He said that Sasser died of mesothelioma, a cancer of the lungs. Though rare, it is a relatively common killer amongst AIDS sufferers.
4. Sasser Was a Celebrated Pastry Chef
In addition to being an activist, Sasser maintained a day job as a pastry chef, most recently at a restaurant called RIS in Washington D.C., reports The Washington Blade.
5. Sasser’s Popularity is Reflected on Twitter
His passing as resulted in an outpouring of emotion on Twitter:
RIP Sean Sasser. Thank you. Collage courtesy of Judd Winnck http://t.co/CadWlOS391
— Wilson Cruz (@wcruz73) August 8, 2013
Very sad news about Sean Sasser- one of my heroes who gave me hope that I would one day find love as a "Poz Sean". Thank you, Sean.
— shawndecker (@shawndecker) August 8, 2013
RIP, Sean Sasser. I'll never forget watching Sean and Pedro's wedding, an unfathomable 19 years ago.
— ginalou (@ginalou) August 8, 2013