Larry Kramer, the man who is inarguably one of the founders of the North American HIV movement, died on Wednesday, May 5th.
While many were challenged by his approach and his never surrender attitude, he leaves an indelible mark on our movement. He undoubtedly had a big mouth and a loud voice, a voice that he used to fight the deafening silence of government, pharma and policy makers at the height of the AIDS epidemic. His loud voice spoke for others who were silenced and he told the truth on our behalf.
Larry was also one of the founders of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) and Act Up! and author of important and prescient works such as the novel Faggots and the play the Normal Heart. Both GMHC and Act Up! served as templates for many aspects of Ontario’s nascent HIV movement in the 1980s.
Without his contributions there is no doubt that HIV treatments would have advanced as quickly and no doubt that our commitments to GIPA and MEPA would have evolved. His DNA is a part of every agency, every committee, every demonstration or meeting that we hold, and every voice that is raised in protest against the inadequate response to HIV. He must be remembered as one of the first, one of the loudest and one of the most effective activists in our movement.
Rest in Power Larry. Your activism will continue to impact the world, your legacy will continue to inspire us, and your example will fuel change and action.
Go here to read more about Larry’s life and legacy.