In response to today’s passing of Larry Kramer, the playwright who wrote the Tony Award-winning play A Normal Heart, among others, and gave a voice to AIDS activism, the Los Angeles LGBT Center issued the following statement:
“It is impossible to overstate what Larry Kramer has meant in the battle against HIV and AIDS. His presence as a voice of conscience—and often, righteous anger—looms above all others. This dogged, relentless commitment was born out of a love for his community and an absolute conviction that if our leaders did not—would not—recognize our humanity, then we would demand it and fight for it ourselves. This fierce passion and moral courage set a high bar—not just in the fight against HIV and AIDS, but also in the evolving struggle for LGBT rights. This is a gift—and a shared responsibility—that his life has imparted to all queer people as we continue to fight for the dignity, justice, and equality we deserve.”
From the NY Times:
Larry Kramer, the noted writer whose raucous, antagonistic campaign for an all-out response to the AIDS crisis helped shift national health policy in the 1980s and ’90s, died on Wednesday morning in Manhattan. He was 84.
His husband, David Webster, said the cause was pneumonia. Mr. Kramer had weathered illness for much of his adult life. Among other things he had been infected with H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS, contracted liver disease and underwent a successful liver transplant.
An author, essayist and playwright — notably hailed for his autobiographical 1985 play, “The Normal Heart” — Mr. Kramer had feet in both the world of letters and the public sphere. In 1981 he was a founder of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the first service organization for H.I.V.-positive people, though his fellow directors effectively kicked him out a year later for his aggressive approach. (He returned the compliment by calling them “a sad organization of sissies.”)
ACT UP NY tweeted that Kramer’s “rage helped inspire a movement,” reports LGBTQ Nation.
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