Say the name Larry Kramer and many of us (hopefully) can easily rattle off some of his accomplishments: the novel Faggots; the movie Women in Love; organizing GMHC; founder of ACT UP; the AIDS drama The Normal Heart. He was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut on June 25, 1935. It seems fitting that the Stonewall uprising occurred right around the time of his birthday (in the year he turned 34) and that Gay Pride Week events take place around it every year.
Like the late Arthur Laurents, who died last year, Kramer has a reputation for being "difficult". He was ousted from GMHC; he railed at his alma mater Yale University for turning down his offer to fund a chair in Gay Studies; and he fumed at Barbra Streisand for not following through on her plans to make The Normal Heart into a movie. He's alienated many with his in-your-face style (the personification of an e-mail typed entirely in caps) - but where would we be without this squeaky wheel? Knowing of his temperament it was a bit of a surprise that he was so gracious upon accepting last year's Tony Award for The Normal Heart as Best Revival of a Play.
For the past 30 years Kramer has been laboring on a work about U.S. history (reportedly 4,000 pages in length) titled The American People. In it he shines a lavender light on our nation's history, e.g. discussing various historical figures he claims were gay (i.e. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln). Plans are for it to be published in two volumes in the not too distant future.