The Real World’s Sean Sasser Dies At 44

The Real World has lost another important member of its show’s history. Sean Sasser, the partner of the late Pedro Zamora, has died at the age of 44-year-old.

Sean Sasser was an AIDS activist, but for those who watched The Real World you might remember Sean for having the first openly gay relationship on reality television when he fell in love with Real World cast mate Pedro.

The news of Sasser’s passing was confirmed by former cast member and friend, Judd Winick. Winick announced the news through his Twitter account on Tuesday night.

Winick’s tweet reads:

“Our friend Sean Sasser has died. Our love goes out to his family & husband Michael. We will miss u so much.”

Sasser was HIV positive and died of a rare cancer of the lungs known as mesothelioma. This news was confirmed by Sasser’s life partner Michael Kaplan, when he released the news to Queerty.

Sean and Pedro’s love story was heavily documented on The Real World: San Francisco. Their commitment ceremony was the first ceremony ever to be televised. Zamora died in 1994 after the show’s taping.

In 2009 Sean and Pedro’s romance was recreated for an MTV film written by Academy Award winning scribe Dustin Lance Black. The film was titled Pedro.

Writer Shawn Decker spoke about his own friendship with Sean Sasser when the film premiered, writing:

“Sean gave me some advice on educating, and how important the prevention message is, that just telling an audience you’re positive is not enough. Later that night, Sean was aghast that I had not brought pajamas, and couldn’t believe I didn’t own a pair.”

In his recent life, Sasser was working as a pastry chef at RIS restaurant, and even spoke to the Washington Blade, after he received praise for his homemade ice cream and sorbets.

At the time Sasser told the site:

“I want to serve desserts and pastries that people recognize and love to eat, but sometimes with an unexpected twist of surprise.”

Check out Sean Sasser on The Real World below:

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