RIP — Dirk Shafer

Playgirl Man of the Year Dirk Shafer

Well, this is depressing. Dirk Shafer, the Playgirl Man of the Year who famously came out as gay in the early 1990s, was found dead in his car on Thursday morning.

“An autopsy likely will be performed in the next few days, sources say. Police identified Shafer by his driver’s license and his family has been notified.

Born on November 7, 1962, in Carbondale, IL, Shafer became an icon in the mid-90s when the 1992 Playgirl Man of the Year announced he was gay to the magazine’s straight female audience. He documented the process and the pressures he was under from all sides to pose as straight and to be honest in Man Of The Year. As well as directing and starring in the pic, Shafer wrote the largely fictionalized account.” — Deadline (MSN)

UPDATE: Additional coverage from other mainstream media outlets can be found here and here.

photo source: Playgirl Online, via Excellent Top Gay Blog

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