Lou Maletta NY Icon/Character Nov 4, 2011 17:07:53 GMT -5
Post by bluepride on Nov 4, 2011 17:07:53 GMT -5
Lou Maletta, Gay TV Pioneer, Dies at Age 74
Lou Maletta, longtime gay activist and gay-content TV pioneer, died peacefully in a hospital in Kingston, N.Y., near his home in the mid-Hudson River area, on Thursday, Nov. 4.
Some people have colorful careers. Lou Maletta had colorful careers. In an age when people readily allow themselves to be relegated to a niche, Maletta refused categorization.
In his 74 years, he founded the first long-running gay television news show; the first TV show to cover the gay porn scene; and the first TV show to follow the underground leather, fetish and S/M scene. He was an activist’s activist, who paired words with deeds in New York and across the Eastern Seaboard and the nation. He achieved a brief spate of infamy in the most scandalous TV advertisement in history. He was an out-and-proud pro-active sexual freedom advocate, who hosted men’s parties for several decades.
He was also a loving partner of several decades. He was, for a time, a husband. He was a father to a daughter. And he was the mentor to a generation of gay men, among whom I am proud to count myself one.
Maletta was born in Brooklyn of immigrant parents. He never completely lost his "dese and dose" Brooklynese accent, which, combined with a completely nasal twang, gave his voice such a distinct resonance that a major clothing manufacturer could use it as a commercial voiceover for what may be Madison Avenue’s most notorious in-joke.
Maletta had an informal education, although he did attend college. Throughout his life, he had a restless intellect. A glance at his bookshelf would reveal a well-thumbed copy of St. Athanasius’ "On the Trinity" next to a collection of vintage gay porno magazines next to a half filled-in calculus workbook. He also had a lifelong fascination with technology. His studios were always filled with the latest bright, shiny objects.
As did so many gay men of his generation, Maletta married young. He and his wife had a daughter, who survives him. They lived variously in New York and Dallas, where he established himself as a printer’s rep. As he learned the printing business, he became more and more interested in media.
Read article: Lou Maletta, Gay TV Pioneer, Dies at Age 74
I didn't know him personally, except to say hello in the bars or in the Village. Or wherever he would show up. And he would show up out of nowhere, anywhere! Decked out in his leather, chains and flabby stomach. One of those legends in the community for better or worse! Like Roller-ina, who is still around into her 80's (at least)! I see her every few weeks at the Eagle in Manhattan. Too old to skate but not too old to dress up and drink a beer with young tots in their 50's! But....Lou Maletta was in addition to being a character, a ground breaker in the NY gay community. The article pretty much sums him up.
His viewing and service is not far from me. Maybe 15 minutes away. Not sure if I'll go but I know it's going to be a circus. I can just imagine the outfits. Maybe I should go and video the outside of the place to see who and what shows up! It's going to be an event, I'll tell you that! Thanks for the shows, Lou!!