Pictured Larry Kramer with diver Greg Louganis in Chicago in the late 1990s for a Bailiwick production.
'I love being gay. I love gay people. I think we're better than other people. I really do. I think we're smarter and more talented and more aware and I do, I do, I totally do. And I think we're more tuned in to what's happening, tuned into the moment, tuned into our emotions, and other people's emotions, and we're better friends. I really do think all these things. To us it defies rational analysis that this incompetent dishonest man and his party should be re-elected. Or does it? I hope we all realize that, as of November 2nd, gay rights are officially dead. And that from here on we are going to be led even closer to the guillotine. This past week almost 60 million of our so-called 'fellow' Americans voted against us. Indeed 23% of self-identified gay people voted against us, too. That one I can't figure.' — Writer Larry Kramer in a speech made at Cooper Union, New York Nov. 7.
'Please know that a huge portion of the population of the United States hates us. I don't mean dislike. I mean hate. You may not choose to call it hate, but I do. Not only because they refuse us certain marital rights but because they have also elected a congress that is overflowing with men and women who refuse us just about every other right to exist as well. 'Moral values' is really a misnomer; it means just the reverse. It means they think we are immoral. ... They have not exactly been making a secret of their hate. This last campaign has seen examples of daily hate on TV and in the media that I do not believe the world has witnessed since Nazi Germany. I have been reading Ambassador Dodd's Diary; he was Roosevelt's ambassador to Germany in the 30's, and people are always popping in and out of his office proclaiming the most awful things out loud about Jews. It has been like that.' — Kramer.
'In 1990, that is some nine years into what was happening, 46% of gay men in San Francisco were still fucking without condoms. 60% of the syphilis in America today is in gay men. Excuse me, men who have sex with men. Palm Springs has the highest number of syphilis cases in California. Palm Springs? I do not want to hear each week how many more of you are becoming hooked on meth. HIV infections are up as much as 40%. You cannot continue to allow yourselves and each other to act and live like this! One of these days the miraculous drugs we have to keep us alive are going to stop working. Our systems cannot process these extreme chemotherapies indefinitely. That is what we are on. We are on daily chemotherapy. No one wants to call it that. We call it the cocktail. We are on chemotherapy! Chemotherapy either kills the disease or kills us! What are we going to do when they don't work any longer?' — Kramer.
'From the very first moment we were told in 1981 that the suspected cause was a virus, gay men have refused to accept our responsibility for choosing not to listen, and, starting in 1984, when we were told it definitely was a virus, this behavior turned murderous. Make whatever excuses you can to carry on living in your state of denial but this is the fact of the matter. I wish we could understand and take some responsibility for the fact that for some 30 years we have been murdering each other with great facility and that down deep inside of us, we knew what we were doing. Don't tell me you have never had sex without thinking down deep that there was more involved in what you were doing than just maintaining a hard-on.' — Kramer.
'Have you ever wondered how many men you killed? I know I murdered some of them. I just know. You know how you sometimes know things? I know. Several hundred over a bunch of years, I have to have murdered some of them, planting in him the original seed. I have put this to several doctors. Mostly they refuse to discuss it, even if they are gay.' — Kramer.
'Faith and values. I'd like to believe I have both, but as defined by this election, I guess I clearly have neither. It makes me angry that one group of Americans believes they have a lock on faith or values. And I'm distressed that an entire political agenda may be set not by what is best for a religiously diverse country but by the unwavering orthodoxy of the Christian Right.' — Longtime Chicago broadcaster Carol Marin writing in the Chicago Sun-Times.
'This election was won on fear. Fear of gay people. And fear of foreign people.' — Carol Marin.
'In some circles, that will be seen as sour grapes. But in Texas, we've been losing elections to the demagogic triad of God, gays and guns long enough to be pretty cynical about how it works out. I'm sure millions of Americans voted for George W. under the honest impression that he stands for moral values—family, patriotism, faith in God. I'm sure it's the Democrats' fault that such a silly ruse is allowed to stand. What Bush actually does stand for is nicely summed up by a rather common news story that got stuck on the business pages lately. In September, Merck & Co., the huge drug manufacturer, pulled Vioxx off the market. Vioxx was a popular pain-killing, anti-arthritis drug, but Merck said it was putting patients' safety first. A new study from the Federal Drug Administration showed high doses of Vioxx triple the risk of heart attack and sudden cardiac death. From there, the story bifurcates—it takes two directions. Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa revealed that the FDA had tried to silence the author of the study, Dr. David Graham, associate director of science in the Office of Drug Safety. Grassley said the FDA first sat on Graham's study and that then he was 'ostracized' and 'subjected to veiled threats and intimidation.' The Wall Street Journal followed the other fork, finding internal memos from Merck showing that company officials may have been aware of the dangers of Vioxx as long ago as 1996, including a memo apparently instructing its sales reps to 'dodge' the question when doctors asked about the cardiac record of Vioxx. In short, we have a toothless regulatory agency in the pocket of the industry it is supposed to patrol.' — Columnist Molly Ivins.