In honor of World AIDS Day, actor Matt Bomer has penned a heartfelt tribute to late activist and playwright Larry Kramer.
In a Tuesday essay for Out magazine, Bomer remembered the ACT UP co-founder and “Normal Heart” mastermind as a “dream collaborator” who “knew that the effectiveness of what he had written would transcend interpretation.”
Kramer, who started the Gay Men’s Health Crisis service organization and was diagnosed with HIV in the 1980s, died in May after contracting pneumonia.
“It’s impossible to overstate the importance and impact of Larry Kramer in the LGBTQ+ community,” Bomer wrote. “His years of tireless advocacy, organization, and, yes, acrimony, effected changes in our collective landscape that we are all the beneficiaries of today....
“He wrote plays that made a difference, that changed hearts and minds, that catalyzed our community and our allies. His writing is urgent, economical, and grounded in reality, rarely using metaphor. It doesn’t allow the audience to look away. And though his greatest works were largely autobiographical, they could never be described as solipsistic: They were for the greater good of all of us.”
In 2014, Bomer starred alongside Mark Ruffalo, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons, Alfred Molina and Julia Roberts in a film adaptation of Kramer’s “The Normal Heart,” which follows members of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis as they provide resources for people who are sick while suffering great personal loss amid the HIV/AIDS crisis in New York City.
“I will always love you, Larry Kramer,” Bomer continued in his piece. “As an artist and as an activist. We are so grateful to you for fighting the good fight for us all. Thank you for your refusal to be silent or polite. Thank you for your rage. Thank you for teaching us how to be resilient.
“Like all great artists, Larry lives on forever in his work — the personal and the political, the tragedy and the triumph, the individual and all of us collectively. Underneath the words, however, will always be his beautiful, inexhaustible heart.”
Other celebrities using their platforms to speak up on World AIDS Day include Elton John, Magic Johnson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Angelica Ross and Jonathan Van Ness, who reflected on Twitter on his experience living with HIV.
“I’m HIV positive & have access to my antiretroviral therapy that suppresses my HIV viral load, keeping me healthy & at an undetectable level which makes it almost impossible for me to transmit HIV,” the “Queer Eye” beauty expert wrote.
“To acquire & maintain medication while having access to a doctor for an HIV+ person is life and death not only for them but for public safety. The massive hoops that exist for people living with HIV especially in rural areas in the US to jump through makes it so much harder.”
To acquire & maintain medication while having access to a doctor for an HIV+ person is life and death not only for them but for public safety. The massive hoops that exist for people living with HIV especially in rural areas in the US to jump through makes it so much harder.— Jonathan Van Ness (@jvn) December 1, 2020
On Monday, “Pose” actress Ross hosted “Surviving a Pandemic,” a webinar featuring “All Boys Aren’t Blue” author and co-chair of BLACC’s Gay Men’s Committee, George M. Johnson, who “recently celebrated 10 years of living with HIV.”
“It is perfectly OK for people to not ... be open all the time with their status,” Johnson said. “But what we also know is that there’s a reason that many people are not open with their status, and there’s a reason behind why many people are not so public to share their status.
“And it’s because even though the virus has become manageable in many ways because of treatment and advances in science, the stigma and the criminalization of the virus, it never left.”
See how others are raising awareness on World AIDS Day below.
Today is #WorldAIDSDay and is a time for us to commemorate those who lost their lives too soon to an epidemic that has spanned over 40 years. It is a crucial moment for us to reignite momentum in our fight for the 38 million people who are currently living with HIV. pic.twitter.com/ERwutfKI9Y— Elton John (@eltonofficial) December 1, 2020
In honor of World AIDS Day we remember all of those who have died from an HIV-related illnesses and AIDS. It is because of the work of incredible doctors and researchers across the world that I’m alive to this day and I do not take my life for granted.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) December 1, 2020
Today is #WorldAIDSDay. I’ve been HIV+ for 10 years
Although many live & thrive while HIV+, far too many are not getting the education, funding, or resources needed for survival.
HIV is a social justice issue. We can’t let stigma or fear prevent us from ending the epidemic.— George M Johnson (@IamGMJohnson) December 1, 2020
On #WorldAIDSDay I’d like to remind you that PrEP is available for free on the NHS. Just think of what gay men 30 years ago would have given for that pill ... it’s such a game-changing thing.— Crystal | Black Lives Matter (@crystalwillseeu) December 1, 2020
it’s #WorldAIDSDay 🖤 HIV was v poorly understood when it first emerged & it’s taken decades for life-saving treatment to become available - 12 million people globally still don’t have access to it. The lives lost and communities devastated by this disease can’t be overstated.— olly ✨ (@alexander_olly) December 1, 2020
Today we honor the lives lost to HIV and AIDS related complications since the epidemic began. We also celebrate the millions of people around the world that are living with HIV and are continuing to thrive in their lives. pic.twitter.com/JEpW75JO0V— GLAAD (@glaad) December 1, 2020