Daytime television writer and playwright Michael Slade ’74 made history with “After Forever,” claiming the most Emmy awards ever recorded for an LGBT-themed drama series. Co-created and co-produced with veteran daytime actor Kevin Spirtas (“Days of Our Lives”), “After Forever” follows a man’s struggle to find his new normal after the loss of his longtime partner and husband to cancer.
Though the story is fictitious, Slade drew from his own experience losing his partner to aggressive cancer. He knew from the beginning that he wanted to create a short-form digital series rather than a feature-length film. Slade was also aware that the perspective from which the story is told (that of a gay man in his 50s) was unusual in the world of television and cinema.
“When Kevin and I first met to discuss creating a series, he said he was looking to tell a story about gay men who were his age (50-ish). This totally spoke to me, because we gay men, like women, tend to disappear from the canvas of popular culture once we are no longer the hot 20- or 30-somethings…not returning until we’re the asexual neighbor down the hall with a cat,” said Slade. “We discussed building the series around someone who was dating, but my question kept being, ‘Why is someone 50-ish single?’”