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Australian Outing Turns Deadly for Gay American Actor

by Kilian Melloy
Friday Jan 12, 2018

Matt Palazzo, an out actor and advocate for LGBTQ equality, died while on a hike near the Australian community Alice Springs, cites multiple news sources. The 33-year-old actor had set out on the Larapinta Trail on the morning of Jan. 10 with a companion (not identified in reports,) but the temperature reached 108 degrees that day and Palazzo - who had sped along the trail ahead of his companion and taken a wrong turn - succumbed to heat stroke, Instinct Magazine reported.

Instinct and other publications took note of Palazzo's outspokenness on matters of equality, including California's infamous Proposition 8, against which he demonstrated. Palazzo sat on two boards - West Hollywood Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board and Christopher Street West Board - Instinct reported. Australia's ABC News reported on comments posted by Palazzo's father the day after the actor's death. His father posted video of Palazzo speaking against Prop 8, and also shared the last text message he received from his son. "There were times when I reacted with resentment when people acted or spoke badly towards or about my son Matt because of his sexuality," Palazzo's father said, before going on to add, "He told me once that everybody has their own timetable for understanding what they previously didn't understand."

Palazzo and his companion began their hike around 8:30 a.m. to climb Mt. Sonder, which is about 4,200 feet tall. Officials said their route took them about 10 miles. The pair was headed back when, at around 2 p.m., Palazzo left his companion behind, heading up the trail by himself. The other hiker didn't see Palazzo after that. His body was discovered three hours later about 1,000 feet from the trail, and about half a mile from a parking lot.

UK newspaper the Daily Mail reported that authorities said Palazzo had taken an insufficient supply of water on the hike. There is no suspicion of foul play.

Palazzo appears in the upcoming film "Stone Fruit," which is scheduled for release this summer.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


  • , 2018-01-13 00:55:22

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