“Few people have had more impact on the modern gay rights movement than Larry Kramer, the combustible Oscar-nominated screenwriter, author and activist who’s played a supporting role in every gay milestone of the past 30 years. So when news of the Supreme Court’s landmark gay marriage decision broke last Friday, it seemed only natural to give him a call. Kramer, who celebrated his 80th birthday a day before the ruling, is enjoying a renaissance of sorts. He recently finished writing a screenplay that’s a sequel to The Normal Heart, his transformative AIDS-era play that was adapted into a hit HBO movie last year.
In April, he released a mammoth new novel called The American People, Volume 1: Search for My Heart, an in-your-face epic romp through American history from an unapologetically gay perspective. And at 9 p.m. Monday, HBO is airing Larry Kramer in Love and Anger, an intimate biopic by Jean Carlomusto that debuted at Sundance earlier this year. Last week, as rainbow-clad crowds swarmed the Supreme Court, America’s gay eminence held forth from his Fifth Avenue apartment on Washington’s secret gay presidents, Hollywood’s most fabulous closet cases and his star turn on HBO.
What was your reaction to the Supreme Court decision? Did you ever imagine that you’d be around to see same sex marriage legalized?
No! I honestly I never expected this would happen while I was still alive. Honestly, the whole thing is a bit surreal.
Gay people of this generation will live in a much less dangerous world than previous generations did. Do you wonder how your life would have been different if you were coming of age today? Are you wistful about the fact that all this progress came so late in your life?
It’s a good question. I certainly don’t feel wistful or resentful. I’m happy that this new generation of kids won’t be condemned to the same unhappiness as I was…”