Tuesday, September 04, 2007
I spent part of the weekend in San Diego with the National Gay and Lesbian Journalist Association's (NGLJA) National Conference. I sat on a panel on how to get a book published. My panel was filled with lively characters like Agent Dan O'Connell at the Strothman Agency, Comedian Bob Smith, writers Trebor Healey and Elizabeth Weise. I forgot how popular "How To" panels can be, particularly in trying to get a book published.
At the conference, was activist and author Larry Kramer. I went to see him speak. He's an asshole to some and a tough saint to others. This was the man who started AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT-UP). He's a self professed "old codger." Love him or hate him, he moved AIDS education and treatment forward ("AIDS is not a disease, it's a plague!) and fiercely advocated for gay and lesbians ("We're not a community; we're a population). He maligned sacred gay instituions like the Human Rights Campaign for not doing enough. He even bit the hand that fed him. A representative from the NGLJA thanked him for coming--Larry Kramer said, "How dare you not pay for my plane ticket!"