NEW YORK — The Gay Men’s Health Crisis honored Larry Kramer, the legendary AIDS activist and playwright who was a founding member of the agency in 1982, at its spring gala Monday night.
Upon receiving the Larry Kramer Activism Award, Kramer gave a blistering speech that criticized U.S. elected officials for neglect. It was originally posted on Facebook by Peter Staley and was reproduced in several news outlets including the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News.
“HIV/AIDS has been our plague for 34 years,” Kramer said. “We should have known more about this plague by now. Thirty-four years is a very long time to let people die.
“I think more and more about evil. I believe in evil. I believe evil is an act, intentional or not, of inflicting undeserved harm on others,” he said. “Genocide is such an act. I believe genocide is being inflicted upon gay people. Genocide is the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or ethnic group. Such as gay people. Such as people of color. To date, around the world, an estimated 78 million people have become infected, 39 million of whom have died. When we first became acquainted with HIV there were 41 cases.
The full text of his speech is available at sdgln.com.