Larry Kramer
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AIDS activist and gay rights pioneer Larry Kramer dead at 84

Writer and trailblazing AIDS activist Larry Kramer has died at age 84.

Kramer’s husband, David Webster, said he passed away on Wednesday from pneumonia, The New York Times has reported.

Kramer was notorious for his controversial writing about AIDS and the gay community, notably including the 1978 novel Faggots and his play The Normal Heart.

He was among the earliest and most prominent AIDS activists in the US, founding the Gay Men’s Health Crisis organisation and the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP), which protested the lack of treatment and funding for people with AIDS in the 1980s.

Kramer was famed for his aggressive activism, engaging in civil disobedience and staging early ‘die-in’ protests in New York City against the lack of attention being given to helping people with AIDS.

His confrontational style and reputation for madness earned attention for the cause, but he was ousted from the Gay Men’s Health Crisis group in 1983 for being too militant for its style.

Tributes have flowed on social media for Kramer, who has been remembered as a legend and pioneer.

Kramer continued his HIV and gay rights activism for decades.

In 2001, he was wrongly reported to have died while waiting for a liver transplant that he was initially refused due to his HIV status.

“We shouldn’t face a death sentence because of who we are or who we love,” he said at the time.

The same year, his brother Arthur founded the Larry Kramer Initiative for Lesbian and Gay Studies program at Yale University, of which Kramer was an alumnus.

The award-winning playwright announced just two months ago that he was working on a new play about the COVID-19 pandemic and its parallels to the AIDS crisis of the late twentieth century.

Kramer lived in Manhattan until his death.

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