Larry Kramer, famous gay activist and author of The Normal Heart, believes that there is a genocide "via sins of omission or commission" that is exterminating the gay population. Kramer would know. In 1982, he founded the Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC), a nonprofit which, in the face of what many believe was blatant government inaction, actively fought the HIV/AIDS crisis spreading rapidly in the gay community.
Yesterday, the almost 80-year-old Kramer was awarded by the GMHC with a lifetime achievement award, also named after him. In his acceptance speech, he gave a vehement speech that expressed his strong views about HIV/AIDS and the gay community.
He did not mince words. "I believe genocide is being inflicted upon gay people," he said slowly, directly to the audience.
He followed that by explaining, "I no longer have any doubt that our government is content, via sins of omission or commission, to allow the extermination of my homosexual population to continue unabated." These are powerful words, particularly coming from a force of a person such as Larry Kramer. Kramer has decades of experience in political activism and public health.
Kramer lamented that even after 34 years, we do not know enough to cure this horrible disease. He believes, "we should know more than we do." Furthermore, he believes that heterosexual leaders are not "losing any sleep" over the plague. Kramer acknowledges that there has been progress on treating HIV/AIDS, allowing for prolonged lives of those who have been infected. But he believes that these treatments have side effects and benefit drug companies. He simply demands that a cure be found, and he pushes others in the LGBT community to demand it with him.
Watch his powerful speech (starting at 9:30) below.