I’ve been struggling with parts of the book I’m writing. I was talking to Meghann about them, how hard the sections with crazy, anonymous sex and copious drug and alcohol use are to write about with the post-AIDS knowledge we all have.
What Will People Think?
The book Faggots by Larry Kramer, written in 1978, that, when it came out, was hated and trashed, especially in the gay community.
A great read from the Hurray for Dead White Males’ blog post called “Faggots,” in part, explains:
“Published in 1978 to a storm of controversy, Faggots was one of the most infamous novels of its time, a giant glitter-smeared Fuck You to the gay community it satirised so ruthlessly.”
“What happened next is even more interesting, and nearly unparalleled in the history of satire. Within three years of its publication, New York was in the grip of the AIDS epidemic. The dire predictions in Faggots about the devastation caused by a life of hedonism had come true, in the most horrific way.”
Larry Kramer Didn’t Give a Shit What People Thought
When the AIDS crisis began, Larry did not just sit and say, “I told you so.” He went to work co-creating the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and worked his ass off to get politicians, medical researchers, and doctors to hurry up and save these gay lives. He was especially vitriolic towards Anthony Fauci who, decades later, became a friend, thanking Kramer for helping to save so many lives.
There are reams of articles, speeches, and books written by and about Larry Kramer’s intense and angry thoughts regarding those in and around the LGBTQ community and AIDS.
And how he was right all along.
Kramer died in 2020 at 84 years old after 60 years of work as an activist.
Larry Kramer’s Faggots & Roger Taylor’s “More Kicks”
I’m grabbing from Kramer’s frenetic energy in the book Faggots and adding Roger’s memories of his wild days in Queen as he sings “More Kicks” – both, for the most part, before AIDS hit our realities.
“Of the 2,639,857 faggots in the New York city area, 2,639,857 think primarily with their cocks.
You didn’t know that the cock was a thinking organ?
Well, by this time, you should know that it is.” – Larry Kramer
“I was young and stupid
I didn’t feel no pain
I was looking for trouble
I didn’t feel no shame
I was heading for a long day’s journey into the night… life
I wanted more kicks” – Roger Taylor
“I Didn’t Feel No Shame”
It is that line Roger wrote that’s bouncing around in my head.
Is it shame I feel about my/our hedonistic behaviors from 1978 until 1981? Is that why I’m struggling so much to get these sex and drug stories down? Why can’t I let go and write the truth of those days?
“Opening her eyes wide again, she saw the Top in a leather harness reach into the ubiquitous can of Crisco, slathering it onto -and into – the bottom’s ass before wiping his greasy hand on the bedspread, then jamming his dick into the collared man underneath him. The loud ‘umph’ came not only from the inserted, but several of the folks watching as well.” – In the Bushes/WIP by Barb Herrera
I want to be like Larry Kramer and Roger Taylor. I want to just write.
Can I ever climb over this hurdle?
I am hoping so.