Larry Kramer, Tony Winning Playwright and Fearless Civil Rights and AIDS Activist, Dies at 84

By Lawrence Pfeil, Jr.

Today our Community lost a giant in its struggle for civil rights and equality; and the world lost an unstoppable force of nature in the fight against AIDS as Larry Kramer has passed at 84.

“Where’s the Outrage???”

According to Peter Staley, fellow ACTUP activist and ally, “He has said again and again, and I think it is truly, truly felt by him, that he loves gay people and considers us all his children.”

Maybe it is that insight which helps explain the passion, outrage, and relentless fury with which Larry Kramer took on the world.  If being an Oscar nominated, Tony, Obie, and Emmy winning, Pulitzer Prize finalist, and prolific author wasn’t enough for one lifetime; he has been at the forefront in the fight for LGBT+ Civil Rights; sounded the clarion’s call when AIDS first appeared; founded Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the first HIV/AIDS human services organization; harnessed the energy and rage of LGBT youth to ACTUP when health and government officials didn’t care; and warned an entire community that SILENCE=DEATH.

To be sure, Larry Kramer could be a hard pill to swallow, but as Frank Bruni of The New York Times so eloquently observed in 2014, he was always on the side of the angels.

 “The Angel in Larry Kramer” 
Ben Wiseman

 

The HBO Documentary, Larry Kramer in Love and Anger gives insight into this complex man to whom our Community owes so much, and millions around the world owe their lives.

 

What drove Larry Kramer?  Perhaps as any good parent does, he simply wanted a better life for his children.

 

One personal note…

The first time I heard Larry Kramer speak, when it came to the subject of gay activism, he said he was sick of people asking him “what should we do?”

“What do you fucking want to do???” He replied

Well Larry, I’m doing it and I’m proud to say you helped inspire theOUTfront.

 

“I don’t regret anything I’ve done or said. No matter what you say, some people are going to like it and some people aren’t.”

(video still, Larry Kramer in Love and Anger)

 

(main photo via Facebook)

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