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Reaction to the death of AIDS activist, writer Larry Kramer

The Canadian Press logoThe Canadian Press 2020-05-27

NEW YORK — Reaction to the death of Larry Kramer, the AIDS activist and playwright who turned his fury into mass protests and helped raise the profile of the disease:

"If you remember the early days of the AIDS crisis then you remember Larry Kramer. He was FEARLESS. He stirred the pot, called out the powerful and, much to the chagrin of some people, he was almost always right. We’re mourning a great New Yorker today.” — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

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“Larry Kramer could best be described as a force of nature, like a hurricane. If you were in his way, you didn’t want to be in his path. He was a force to be reckoned with, not only in his founding of GMHC (Gay Men’s Health Crisis) and later ACT-UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), but in his unwavering willingness to speak truth to power.” — Dr. Jack Drescher, a New York City psychiatrist who lost many friends and colleagues to AIDS, in a statement.

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“Larry Kramer was like an Old Testament prophet — angry and righteous. He could be a foul-weather friend, who helped even enemies when they had health problems. He could be scathing and antagonistic or wonderfully compassionate." — Author and fellow founder of the Gay Men's Health Crisis Edmund White, in a statement.

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“We have lost a giant of a man who stood up for gay rights like a warrior. His anger was needed at a time when gay men’s deaths to AIDS were being ignored by the American government.” — Elton John, in a statement.

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“Don’t know a soul who saw or read `The Normal Heart' and came away unmoved, unchanged. What an extraordinary writer, what a life. Thank you, Larry Kramer.” — Lin-Manuel Miranda, via Twitter.

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“He ordered us to love ourselves and each other and to fight for our lives. He was a hero.” — Author and activist Dan Savage, via Twitter.

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“Larry Kramer’s death hits our community hard. He was a fighter who never stood down from what he believed was right, and he contributed so much to the fight against HIV/AIDS. He will be missed by so many.” — GLAAD, via Twitter.

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“I was one of the many frightened kids that joined ACT UP hoping to push back death. He called us his kids, and, for me, he became a mentor and father figure. We forget that ACT UP was born six years into the crisis. Six lost years, as the country and its president ignored a new virus that was slaughtering a community they despised. Larry told us to fight back." — Prominent, longtime HIV/AIDS activist in New York City Peter Staley, in a statement.

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“Rest in power to our fighter Larry Kramer. Your rage helped inspire a movement. We will keep honouring your name and spirit with action.” — ACT UP NY, via Twitter.

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“Today we lost a titan, a warrior, an unflinching iconoclast. — Actor Zachary Quinto, via Instagram.

The Associated Press

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