Larry Kramer was a celebrated author and playwright who, when directly impacted by the burgeoning AIDS crisis, responded by co-forming the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York City. In the mid-1980s, he was a vocal critic of the US government’s lack of response to the crisis and became a primary agitator and agent for ACT UP, which had conceived the message “SILENCE = DEATH.” Kramer continued to pen works that spoke to the crisis and tirelessly advocated for equality for the LGBTQ+ community, until his death in 2020.
Gay Men's Health Crisis
The Gay Men’s Health Crisis was formed in 1982 as a reaction to the beginning of the AIDS crisis when there was very little known about the disease. What started as a volunteer-driven outreach and service group quickly evolved into a multi-platformed, non-profit center that, by the 2000s, was serving over 100,000 New Yorkers. Today, GMHC maintains its original mission to end AIDS but also has a critical role in advocating for education and health, as well as helping to shape legislation that affects the LGBTQ+ community.