Task Force mourns the passing of Sean Sasser

August 09, 2013

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 9 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force mourns the passing of HIV/AIDS activist Sean Sasser.

“I am deeply saddened by Sean’s death. His smile, his ability to connect with others, his impact was one of a kind,” said Rea Carey, Task Force Executive Director. “In the early years of my work as an AIDS activist and educator, there was a handful of young men I was fortunate to work with who were bravely coming out about being HIV positive. They wanted to make a difference for other young people. Sean was one of them.”

Sasser, who was 44 and had been HIV positive for 25 years, died Wednesday from lung cancer mesothelioma. He is survived by his longtime partner and spouse, Michael Kaplan. Sasser was an AIDS activist, educator and pastry chef. Sasser was also well known for being on MTV’s “The Real World: San Francisco."

“Sean contributed to the Task Force’s youth leadership work, to the National Youth Advocacy Coalition and to many other organizations and efforts to educate others about HIV and AIDS. Our hearts go out to Michael, their family and expansive community of loved ones,” Carey said.

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The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force builds the power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community from the ground up. The Task Force is the country's premier social justice organization fighting to improve the lives of LGBT people and working to create positive, lasting change and opportunity for all. The Task Force is a 501(c)(3) corporation incorporated in Washington, D.C. Contributions to the Task Force are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law. © 2013, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 1325 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 600, Washington, D.C., 20005. Phone 202.393.5177. TTY 202.393.2284.