Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Literary Codger

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!"


Peter Varvel said...

Maybe it's "lonely at the top."
Does that influence how you navigate your public behavior, Noel, especially when you're recognized?

Not that you aren't always the perfect, diplomatic gentleman!

Cheryl said...

He would be amazing to hear. And scary to talk to one-on-one.

Pete said...

Sounds like a great conference, thanks for the report!

Liz said...

That quip about the plane ticket is hilarious. Good thing there are old codgers in the world who care so much about other people to stick themselves out there and work for what they believe in, especially when other folks their age are only thinking of golf.