1981 August 11

80 Gay Men Discuss AIDS Crisis in Larry Kramer’s Living Room


Eighty gay men met in playwright Larry Kramer’s living room on this day to discuss the emerging HIV/AIDS crisis, and raised $6,635 for gay men’s health programs. A second meeting on January 4, 1982 led to the creation of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) organization, which remains active today.

Larry Kramer is the author of the play The Normal Heart, an autobiographical account of the early years of the AIDS crisis, which opened in New York on April 21, 1985. Because he demanded more militant action on the HIV/AIDS crisis, Kramer split with the GMHC and helped found ACT-UP on March 10, 1987.

Don’t miss: David France, How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of  How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS (1916)

Watch an interview with Larry Kramer, on becoming an activist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ujp03OqBSo

Read: Lawrence Mass, We Must Love One Another or Die: The Life and Legacies of Larry Kramer (1997)

Learn about the GMHC: http://www.gmhc.org/about-us

Read about the early AIDS crisis: Randy Shilts, And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic (1987)

Learn more at a  timeline on HIV/AIDS: http://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/hiv-aids-101/aids-timeline/

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