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April 26, 2011

Comments

Alejandro

That article annoyed me somewhat.

Maybe it's because I'm a little older than the interviewer (by 10 years) and I'm still a bit old school with the idea of gay culture (I like it and don't feel I need to lose all of it) . . . but all he could offer up was GRINDR and Will & Grace and that just made me sad.

Gabriel

If Larry Kramer really believes what he said about his estate, taxes, and his partner, he needs to find a better estate lawyer.

Duncan

I don't believe that younger gay people don't care about the marriage issue. I work at a Big Ten University, and it's very much on their minds, and they're pretty indignant about it. But most gay people never got angry about the discrimination we face; those of us who are pissed off, and Larry Kramer is not the only one no matter how much he likes to believe it, have always been in the minority among gays. I'm 60, and I was pissed off while Kramer was still cruising Fire Island.

I hesitate to make too much of this since it might be an artefact of the editing of the interview, but what I came away with from reading it was that what Kramer thinks is wrong with gay men today is that they won't have sex with him: he's gone hunting on the Internet, and came up (so he says) with nothing. I don't quite believe this. If a fat, ugly old troll like me can get laid, so can Larry Kramer. Something else must be getting in the way, like his personality. (But if a nasty, hateful old troll like me can get laid, so can an asshole like Larry Kramer.) And this is not a new thing with him: he's complained about it in interviews before.

(Incidentally, the interviewer didn't offer up GRINDR [which I hadn't heard of either, because I don't have an iPhone] as the summum bonum of gay culture. He offered it as something related to our sexual culture.)

He's also lying when he says that he never said that gay men should stop having sex, he just meant we shouldn't have it without condoms. Right there in the damn interview he starts bitching about "meaningless" sex, which he somehow equates with condomless sex, and also with the sex he's not getting because he's supposedly too old, and so he doesn't get to treat other people as things like all the other kids do.

Arthur Durkee

I don't always agree with Larry Kramer's opinions, but I adore him. He is absolutely necessary. Sometimes someone has to say those kind of things, no matter how outrageous they are, to break us out of our complacency. Or our narcissism, which to be honest is a real problem. Larry has been doing that for a very long time. And since Harry Hay is gone—and was always at least this controversial, this opinionated—there aren't many gay advocates left who speak like this. And we need all of them.

Gay marriage is not even remotely the most important issue, in my opinion. Bullying and suicide are. But that's MY viewpoint.

I have noticed this "generation gap" many, many times before. It does exist. The people who lived through AIDS, who lived through Stonewall, who lived through Anita Bryant, and all the early days of the gay lib movement, remember things differently than those who grew up with those battles already won, or at least engaged with if not yet won. There IS an attitude difference.

The real gap, though, it seems to me, is that most of the great gay activists of the 70s and 80s are all dead: of AIDS, or of assassinations, or of other things. What we have left is a largely conservative wing of the gay public, which controls the agenda now. That's why so much gay activists rhetoric these days is about fitting in—in a word, assimilation—rather than about being uniquely who we are, who we can be, and celebrating our diversity and differences. The tone has become as conservative as is imaginable. Larry is one of the few remaining surviving Last Angry Men from that era, and what he says still matters very much. Even if you don't agree with him all the time, he's speaking to truths more complacent, even narcissistic, gay men would rather not talk about. Too bad. It all does need to be talked about.

Alex

Great answers from Larry. It is sad that the young interviewer feels more comfortable in straight culture than gay culture - that, it seems to me, is more a reflection on him than of young gay men today, though he spoke of it in general terms.

Elliott Mackle

Agree. Kramer needs to consult another lawyer. Or maybe his remarks are not intended to be factual?

Mark Harris

Larry, I am very proud of how you divulge your identity in the public. I myself is a gay also. I cannot find a reason how to be as open as possible to my people. I always find myself inside a shelf. I hope you can give me some advice how to be brave as you are, Larry.

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Being proud of your identity is really helpful to gain confidence. I'm happy that you share it to the public.I know that there are many people who are very afraid in exposing their identity.

Kathleen Wright

It doesn’t mean that because they are young, they don’t care anymore to the issues around them. Especially, those that concern them. Larry is young, indeed. But I know he has the ideals in him that we need to know. I even admire how he was able to be open to the public with his social status. It is never easy, I know.

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