Larry Kramer on Gay Presidents, Streisand

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com May 14 2011 1:15 PM ET

 A representative for Barbra Streisand requested an update to this story, reminding that Streisand has referred to Kramer's claims as nonsense and has previously addressed them specifically in a Truth Alert on her website, which can be read in its entirety here. In the statement on her site, Streisand writes that she worked for a decade without pay attempting to film Kramer's play The Normal Heart and did not have the screenplay rewritten to expand the part of Dr. Emma Brookner as a starring role for herself, admitting that it was never her objective to appear in the film, only direct it. Streisand reiterates that she "will always believe in Larry’s play and its powerful theme about everyone’s right to love."

 Activist-playwright Larry Kramer calls George Washington "a big queen," says Abraham Lincoln was gay and reveals that he and recent sparring partner Barbra Streisand are still friends and fond of each other while being interviewed by Michelangelo Signorile.

Kramer tells the host he doesn't want to discuss Streisand, with whom he has recently exchanged pointed barbs in the media over who is at fault for the long-delayed film adaptation of his play The Normal Heart. He compares their recent conflict to "two hysterical queens going at each other" but says it comes from "a place of respect and warmth" and that they are still friends. Kramer does express confusion at how Streisand made three other films while holding the rights to his play and with all her power and money.

The Normal Heart is currently being performed on Broadway and has been nominated for five Tony awards. Kramer confirms the film rights to the play have been optioned by Glee creator Ryan Murphy, who he says paid him all the money that Streisand wouldn't.

Kramer also reveals that his long-gestating 4,000 page book The American People will be published in two parts. He describes it as a history of the United States from the very beginning, saying that gay people have been in the country since the very beginning. Kramer says that George Washington was not only gay, but "a big queen," and adds that Abraham Lincoln was also gay. He hopes that how the world was changed by gay people will one day be taught in schools.

Listen to the complete interview here.







 

A representative for Streisand