Lou Maletta, who found the Gay Cable Network in NYC in 1982 and kept it going for over 18 years, died Tuesday at 74 of liver cancer. He is survived by his daughter and by his domestic partner of 37 years, Luke Valenti. A memorial service has yet to be scheduled.
Maletta started small with Men in Films, which explored male erotica, and soon went on to develop news programming that gave virtually the only television attention to the nascent AIDS crisis and the ongoing fight for LGBT rights.
Maletta went out and covered everything he could in the community with a sense of mission and the conviction that the way to educate people was with the greatest tool of all time television.
From 1984 to 2000, the Gay Cable Network provided team coverage of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, with reporters on the floor interviewing political leaders from Dick Cheney, Henry Kissinger, and George W. Bush to Jesse Jackson and Ann Richards. The network also covered LGBT and AIDS demonstrations outside the conventions, as well as countless local and national protests including the 1987 and 1993 national marches on Washington and the rise of ACT UP in 1987 and also covered the social, cultural, and sexual lives.
Some of the notables interviewed on the network were Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Harvey Fierstein, Tony Kushner, director Derek Jarman, Quentin Crisp, writer Vito Russo, Sara Jessica Parker, and Barbara Walters, among an eclectic mix of countless others.
Lou Maletta shut down operations in 2001, but remembrance of Lou, and the restoration, and preservation of this footage is important to future LGBT generations to come. This archive is a a precious piece of history our history and has been acquired by New York University.
Lou Maletta was true LGBT Media Pioneer and shall always be remembered.
Rest now, Lou and Thank You
Courtesy of our Extended Family back2stonewall.com. Thank you