GLAAD joins the LGBTQ community and allies in mourning the loss of trailblazing LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS activist, Larry Kramer

May 28, 2020

The LGBTQ community lost a legend in the passing of Larry Kramer yesterday. Kramer made immeasurable contributions to both HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ people, leaving journalists and writers at a loss for how to describe his legacy. The Washington Post credited Kramer for “‘sounding the alarm’ on HIV/AIDS,” while The New York Times finally landed on the words “outspoken” and “confrontational” to describe him. As a writer, Larry knew the power of words, but his true strengths were in words plus action. Demanding to be seen. Refusing to be silent. Raising hell. ACTing UP! Saving lives.

Larry co-founded the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in 1981, years before the President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, ever uttered the word “AIDS”. Kramer went on to found ACT UP! In 1987 and took his relentless insistence for change from the streets of New York to the powerful in Washington. He fought to bring HIV/AIDS out of the shadows, to break down stigma, to roar with outrage at our losses and inaction and move HIV/AIDS to the treatable, survivable condition it is today. His wrenching play “The Normal Heart” revealed his personal and professional life’s work to new audiences over and over, and GLAAD is proud to have honored Larry with a GLAAD Media Award for its revival and TV adaptation.

“GLAAD and so many LGBTQ people and allies recognize Larry as an undeniable accelerant who not only fearlessly demanded change, but made it come to pass,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in a statement yesterday. “We send all of our love to Larry’s loved ones during this time, and, though we are saddened by his passing, we are forever grateful for his leadership and heroism.”

We see the impact of Larry Kramer’s voice every day in our work at GLAAD. His provocations drew us in. His passion keeps us fighting. Thank you Larry, for your words, actions, and heart. The fight lives on, and we miss you already.