Larry Kramer (b. June 25, 1935)

Playwright, author, film producer, public health advocate, and LGBT rights activist.

Larry founded the direct action protest group ACT UP, credited with making the AIDS crisis a priority of public health policy.
Kramer was born in Bridgeport CT. He attended Yale in 1953, where he fell into a depression, imagining himself the only gay man on campus. A suicide attempt left him determined to explore his sexuality, and sent him on a path to fight for “gay people’s worth.”
Kramer became involved with movie production at 23, taking up a job as a teletype operator at Columbia Pictures. Eventually, he earned a position in the story dept developing scripts. His second screenwriting credit, “Women in Love,” earned an Oscar nomination in 1969.
Wanting to incorporate homosexual themes into his writing, Kramer started writing for the stage. Although early works were mild successes, Kramer became distraught when productions were shut down early by producers.
In 1978, Kramer finished the novel “Faggots,” about the fast lives of gay men on Fire Island and Manhattan. Kramer researched the book, talking to many men who wanted to know if it was going to be positive. He felt that gay men were conflicted about the lives they lived.
“Faggots” was panned by both the mainstream and gay press, and causes an uproar in the gay community. “The straight world thought I was repulsive, and the gay world treated me like a traitor.” The novel became one of the best selling gay novels of all time.
Kramer was originally reluctant to get involved in gay activism, but as friends started getting sick in 1980, Kramer felt compelled to act. He co-founded the Gay Men’s Health Crisis to raise funds and provide services to men stricken with AIDS in the NY area.
Kramer soon clashed with the rest of the board of the GMHC. While they wanted to focus on social services for the dying, Kramer wanted to fight for public funding and to get at the cause of the disease.
When the GMHC refused to spread the message that sexual contact was the likely method of spreading the disease, Kramer published an essay entitled "1,112 and Counting,” discussing the spread of the disease, lack of funding, and the apathy of the gay community.
Kramer’s confrontational style was an advantage, earning much needed attention in the NY press. Kramer began calling out men in positions of authority widely understood to be closeted gay for refusing to take action, including NY mayor Ed Koch. Kramer was forced out of the GMHC.
During an extended trip to Europe, Kramer visited the Dachau concentration camp. While it had opened as early as 1933, neither Germans nor other nations did anything to stop it. Recognizing the same reluctance by gays and the US Gov, he was inspired to write “The Normal Heart.”
The protagonist of the play is thinly veiled autobiographical, highlighting his activism and frustration at the gay community that sees him as alarmist. The play is considered a literary landmark, and was produced by HBO as a film in 2014.
In 1987, Kramer founded ACT UP, a direct action protest organization that chose government agencies and corporations as targets to publicize lack of treatment and funding for people with AIDS.
A primary target was the FDA, which Kramer accused of holding up badly needed AIDS medication. ACT UP engaged in confrontational civil disobedience, with the goal of arrests focusing attention on the crisis. The organization grew to hundreds of chapters around the world.
Immunologist Anthony Fauci states "ACT UP put medical treatment in the hands of the patients..There is no question in my mind that Larry helped change medicine in this country. In American medicine there are two eras. Before Larry and after Larry.”
Two decades later Kramer continued to advocate for social and legal equity for homosexuals. "Our own country's democratic process declares us to be unequal, which means, in a democracy, that our enemy is you.”
Larry defines the AIDS crisis as a holocaust. The US Gov failed to respond quickly because the suffering of gay people was a joke to them. Witness the laughter questions about the spread of AIDS prompts in the WH briefing room.
Larry Kramer was a catalyst for getting America to take notice of the AIDS crisis, through loud civil dissobediance. He was also key in making it known that sex spread the disease, even as his detractors denounced him as alarmist and sex-negative.
#LGBTVoices is wrapping up our June Pride project. Check out our tweets on the heroes of the struggle for LGBTQ rights in the moment below. Check our hashtag for the final tweets in this series in the coming days. RT and spread this message of activism!


• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Matthew Wolff 🏳️‍🌈🇺🇦

Matthew Wolff 🏳️‍🌈🇺🇦 Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @MatthewWolfff

Oct 4, 2018
At 10 PM in DC yesterday, McConnell filed for cloture on the #KavaNOPE confirmation. According to Senate rules, that gives us till 11 PM Friday to make our voices heard.

There has never been a more important time to call your Senators. Tell them to vote NO. #StopKavanaugh
Dozens of potential witnesses to Kavanaugh’s behavior were ignored by the FBI. Dr. Ford was not interviewed, nor was Kavanaugh himself. Corroborating witnesses for additional accusers were not interviewed.

The FBI investigation was a sham.
A letter being presented to the US Senate today: 1,000 law professors and counting insist that Brett Kavanaugh should not be confirmed.

Read 6 tweets
Oct 2, 2018
This weekend, the GOP was caught trying to limit the scope of the FBI investigation into Kavanaugh to 4 people; it did not include Kav or his accuser Dr. Ford, and did not allow them to pursue leads.

They relented because of pressure. Pressure works. Keep calling. #STOPKavanaugh
If you are not calling your Senators, the time is now. Pressure them to do the right thing!

Constituents of the following Senators MUST call and tell them to vote no. We REALLY need you!

Murkowski: 202-224-6665
Collins: 202-224-2523
Flake: 202-224-4521
Manchin: 202-224-3954
A list of all Senators. Precede each number with 202-224-XXXX.

I’m calling mine EVERY DAY.
Read 4 tweets
Sep 28, 2018
The GOP embarrassed itself today. Their nominee was blustery and belligerent, refusing to answer questions directly.

An innocent person would welcome an FBI investigation to clear his name. The GOP does not believe him, evading such calls with trumpery.
A tale told by an idiot..
“The FBI doesn’t come to conclusions.”

Of course they don’t, but it is not credible that a Judge would deny the necessity of a professional investigation. Does any Judge conduct investigations during trial? No. The RESULTS of an investigation are reported on to get at the truth.
I believe Dr. Ford. She endured excruciating questions, answering candidly. She stood to gain nothing.

In contrast, Kavanaugh has lied repeatedly, about the contents of his yearbook, drinking, & his involvement with the theft of Senate documents in 2003.
Read 4 tweets
Sep 28, 2018
Why does the GOP promote and support Predators?

Predators find it easy to prey on any group to enrich or further empower the powerful. So, supporting those predators is a sure way to be funded.

Most of all, the nature of predation is conservative. A thread. /1
Conservatism is the opposite of progress. Conservatives seek to maintain existing power structures, because they’re the ones who benefit from them.

Name any issue in which society has progressed, and conservatives have stood against them. /2
Whether we talk about civil, woman’s or gay rights, empowering the poor, or democracy itself, conservatives have stood against progress. They hate the concept of social justice, because it seeks to empower the powerless, and threaten their privilege. /3
Read 15 tweets
Sep 24, 2018
Kavanaugh has a 2nd accuser. Senate GOP heard last week, & pushed to rush his confirmation. They knew of 2 accusations of assault, and wanted him on the court anyway.

The GOP intimidate victims to stay silent & protect the careers of white, male predators. Enough. #BeAVoter
Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer with the story of Kavanaugh’s 2nd accuser. The GOP knew about her, and pushed to rush confirmation.

Kavanaugh, Moore, Jordan, Trump. The GOP supports and enables predators.

“Boys will be boys,” as long as they’re white.

We are closer than ever to thwarting this nomination. Call volume is everything!

Read 6 tweets
Sep 21, 2018
The GOP aren’t hostile to Dr. Ford because they think she’s a liar. If they believed that, they would welcome an FBI investigation to clear his name.

They’re hostile towards her because they know she’s telling the truth.
Brett Kavanaugh is a predator.
That suits them. #BeAVoter
I’m sick of men’s opinions on how Dr. Ford is mistaken, or a liar. Men who haven’t met her, don’t know what happened.

They know she’s not lying. They think women should be expected to endure what she did as a right of passage. 🤮

The time for predators is over. #TimesUp
Please don’t be sick of hearing this, because it’s so important. You need to call you Senators and tell them to vote no on Kavanaugh. There are some key GOP wavering. Call volume must be high! #StopKavanaugh
Read 6 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!