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Remembering Michael

In 1983, Robert Michael Painter died of an AIDS-related illness in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was the first documented AIDS death in the state at a time when the world, particularly conservative Utah, did not know how to address queerness.

Painter’s son, Ryan, shares key details from his father’s life: marriage, a child, divorce, leaving his LDS faith, living as a gay man and finally, his death at age 34, when Ryan was just 7 years old.

Once believing his father’s early death might have saved him from the heartache of living in a world that did not accept him, Ryan now confronts the tragic loss of his father and other victims of the AIDS epidemic.

Learn more about Robert Michael Painter at


Copyright 2020 by RadioWest Films. All rights reserved.The dissemination and display of this film without the permission of KUER is prohibited. For information on how to screen a RadioWest Film, please contact

Listen to our conversation on RadioWest:

Ryan Michael Painter On Being 'The Unexpected Son'

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