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Larry Kramer's Comments on LGBT Organizations

Posted by libhom Tuesday, May 05, 2009

These comments are very uncomfortable, but there is a lot of truth to them. (From an interview by Kevin Sessums in The Daily Beast)

“I don’t think we are going to win anything federal—which is really the only important place where it counts—until a few of these Supreme Court justices expire (including that homophobe Anthony Scalia) and Obama replaces them with people sympathetic to our side,” he says. “This, of course, is by no means a sure thing. I have high hopes for Obama, but I do not feel all warm and fuzzy that he is going to be enough of a friend when push comes to shove. I hope I am wrong. I have never believed in patience, but I do not see that we have either the leaders or the troops enough—a la ACT UP—to go out there and fight. We continue to be a passive population. It drives me nuts. It has always driven me nuts. I do not think the gay population has been all that rabid for gay marriage. Note that I do not use the words ‘gay community.’ Expunge that expression from your vocabulary. We are not a community. There are too many of us to qualify for that word, which connotes something much smaller and more intimate than the huge multipeopled grab bag of our rainbow coalition.”

He goes on: “The work, as it was done for AIDS, has been done by relatively few warriors. And we are losing sight of the HIV/AIDS battle. What is not being done about HIV/AIDS in the United States is shocking. It is more than shocking. It is tragic. Three percent of the entire population of Washington, D.C., is infected. One in ten of its residents between the ages of 40 and 49 is infected. Seven percent of its male African-American population is infected. Gay politics? What gay politics? I don’t see any gay politics. I see a few lazy, torpid, unimaginative—certainly passionless—‘organizations’ that maintain they fight for us when what they do is relatively useless. It has never been otherwise. I am afraid we have never ever had a decent gay organization, outside of ACT UP, that accomplished what we need to accomplish—which is to free ourselves from the tyranny of THEM!”

I wonder what it would take to revitalize a queer movement that is so out of touch with the everyday lives of most queers.

 

2 comments

  1. Pagan Sphinx Says:
  2. I'm not sure what he means. I think there is a lot of fervor among a few precisely because gay people are, in fact, a part of that rainbow that's quoted. Like any varied group, there are those who have the time and desire to fight, while others are needing to do the best they can on a day to day basis. Fire in the belly of politics is a tad luxurious.

    We shouldn't have to fight that hard. We're leading busy lives and enduring prejudice and even hatred. There are self-esteem issues among even the strongest GLBT people I know.

    For some people, whose families have rejected them, it's hard to get out of bed. There is depression and suicide. It's not easy being different in this society.

     
  3. Larry Kramer has always been right in my mind. He is an elder, an artist and he knows exactly of what he speaks. My second blog post was about him. He is correct about the lgbtq "population" when we assess that dynamic and build coalitions of all our divergent groups , well hell might be freezing over - its an old story. whether its is uniting LABOR or uniting a lgbTq alliance - it will be an on going struggle.

    I am not through with Obama, i hope he proves himself to the man we all wish him to be. Honestly 100 days is not enough - i can even see the logic in the photograhs non release, at this point in time HOWEVER if we do not have truth and accountability - if we do not see the repeals of anti gay orders and the passage of an inclusive Hate Crimes and ENDA - many of our feelings will only be re inforced there is NO DIFFERENCE at all between the parties. They all march to the mandane bullying of the lunatic right wing.

    I love Larry Kramer ! oh and to the commenter above i have compassion however , its not an excuxe one cure for depression is positive action however small, too many for too long have left activism even SMALL Acts to the "other person" someone else will call or march etc. This is not the way to achieve civil rights and too many have died in this OUR struggle already - yesterday a gay man was "assinated" in his own drive way in florida ! We must continue to fight the lunatics - i think in the DSM we need to lobby to get fundimentalists put in there - they are delusional and dangerous !

     

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