NYT interviews Larry Kramer as 'The Normal Heart' Comes to TV: VIDEO

Kramer

Activist and playwright Larry Kramer speaks with the New York Times as his iconic AIDS crisis chronicle The Normal Heart is set to premiere on HBO May 25.

Watch their video clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

Kramer talks with the paper about the play's journey to the screen, and about his disappointeds at what gay people have not achieved yet in terms of equality:

“Considering how many of us there are, how much disposable income we have, how much brain power we have, we have achieved very little,” Mr. Kramer said. “We have no power in Washington, or anywhere else, and I say it over and over again, and it’s as if it falls on deaf ears. It doesn’t occur to people how to turn that around.”

He also talks about his own current health:

“I came close to dying twice since the beginning of the year; it has been awful,” he said recently, back in his Greenwich Village apartment after a long hospital stay. “I fought to hang on to get to this moment. There were so many times I never thought I would.” (While some friends worry that he might have AIDS, Mr. Kramer, who is H.I.V. positive, said his health problems are mostly intestinal.)

And about the new PReP, using Truvada to prevent HIV infection:

“Anybody who voluntarily takes an antiviral every day has got to have rocks in their heads,” Mr. Kramer said, describing the side effects of drugs he has taken. “There’s something to me cowardly about taking Truvada instead of using a condom. You’re taking a drug that is poison to you, and it has lessened your energy to fight, to get involved, to do anything.”

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Comments

  1. Totall agree about the Truvada comment. Why put drugs into your body when you can use a condom?

    Posted by: Jack M | May 21, 2014 9:48:49 AM


  2. Well of course we have no power in Washington - the power belongs to the corporations and the 1% who have murdered democracy.

    Surely Kramer does not believe that Washington cares about the American population - gay or straight.

    Posted by: MaryM | May 21, 2014 9:59:34 AM


  3. We've lost the PrEP argument. The HIV/AIDS industrial complex of CBO, ASOs and "leaders" have dictated that it is the way to go.

    That said...I keep getting hit up by HIV negative "PrEP whores" on hook up sites looking to get their ass bred.

    Posted by: Qj201 | May 21, 2014 10:05:06 AM


  4. Larry Kramer is an angel.

    Posted by: There | May 21, 2014 10:06:47 AM


  5. "we have achieved very little"

    Only a tireless curmudgeon would believe that.

    While there's certainly much still to do, we have achieved quite a lot actually, and it's a slap in the face to people like Edie Windsor, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, and thousands of others who have accomplished great things.

    Larry Kramer may have been heroic once, but he's an insufferable old fart now who's going to die miserable and alone. I choose to live my life with a positive outlook. It's too bad Kramer isn't grateful enough for the things he himself survived to allow himself to be happy.

    And PS: Andrew Holleran is a far better writer.

    Posted by: crispy | May 21, 2014 10:21:34 AM


  6. From the link:

    "Considering how many of us there are"

    Gays and lesbians make up, what?, about 2-4% of the population, we're a tiny minority that for most people is just one aspect of their identity, not the *whole* identity.

    "how much disposable income we have"

    Oh, that old lie again, not all of us are successful playwrights and authors living in a pricey Manhattan apartment. Studies have shown it to be a lie, stop repeating it.

    "how much brain power we have"

    Another dated stereotype, just look at the comments section here and at Queerty. :-)

    "we have achieved very little"

    Right, because being able to openly serve in the military, get married and so forth are nothing. Of course, on a global level, there's still a lot that needs to change, but in the US, it's mind boggling how different things are from even 5 years ago.

    Posted by: Henry Holland | May 21, 2014 10:31:19 AM


  7. Mr. Kramer is a very fine man who has done so much to help the gay community, while not in the best of health.
    While watching the clip I noticed that he had kind of a 'down' attitude, and I wondered if he was suffering from depression. This often happens to people who have been through a lot and are getting toward the end. I really hope that someone is there for him to help bring him up.
    Despite what I've heard, he actually seems to be a very sweet man in his own way.

    Posted by: David From Canada | May 21, 2014 10:33:49 AM


  8. "how much brain power we have"

    Another dated stereotype, just look at the comments section here and at Queerty. :-)

    LOL!

    Posted by: Belthazar | May 21, 2014 11:07:26 AM


  9. As long as he knows another NY Times profile is in the offering, LK will survive.

    Posted by: anon | May 21, 2014 11:33:50 AM


  10. Thank God for Larry Kramer and his anger, his passion, his fire. I adore this man, even when we disagree on some things. He's too bloody important.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | May 21, 2014 12:14:30 PM


  11. I meet too many older gay men who assume their way of living in an epidemic is the only reasonable response. Long before I was HIV-positive, I was living with mental illness. Taking an extra pill every day would have been an easier sell than getting a suicidal twenty-something to use condoms "consistently and correctly" or to stop self-treating his depression with sex and alcohol. We need PrEP and Tasp for people whose condom adherence is less than perfect and as replacements for serosorting, a presumed prevention strategy that stigmatizes people living with HIV while simultaneously endangering those who are still HIV-negative. Concern about side effects is a red herring: unlike someone on ART, people on PrEP can stop taking NRTI's whenever they want.

    Posted by: Bob | May 21, 2014 12:20:56 PM


  12. "This after decades of communal caring, friends devoting their lives to sick friends. How soon we forget. And how willfully: this breathtaking disparagement of who gay people, at our best, have been is now common coin among those avid for the "right" to be "just like everybody else." We're meant to celebrate that "man and woman" has been replaced by "two persons" -- in a phrase that ends: "to the exclusion of all others."

    As Jane Rule lately wrote me: "the community we were working for in all its loving diversity, requiring of us all courage, imagination, humor, tenderness" is now "reduced to the right to 'marry,' to withdraw into the isolating conventions which allow and even justify neglect of other cares and commitments."

    Many of us seemed thrilled to trade what Jane has called "lives of our own invention" -- lives that have taught us not just courage and imagination but honestly, generosity, civic decency -- for admission to the privatized realm of Sacred Marriage."
    - Rick Bebout (1950-2009)

    Posted by: Gary Bebout | May 21, 2014 1:53:42 PM


  13. The world's a better place because Larry Kramer became an activist. I'm glad that the gay community has recognized what he has to offer and also knows when he should be called out or even ignored.

    Posted by: Markt | May 21, 2014 4:12:22 PM


  14. Larry is right as usual.

    Posted by: andy | May 21, 2014 7:21:46 PM


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