ACT UP: 25 Years of Radical Action
BY Michelle Garcia
April 25 2012 4:05 AM ET
In 1987, the world was six years into the AIDS epidemic. There were few treatment drugs. And any drugs that did exist were incredibly expensive. Stigma originated from places as high as the Oval Office to as local as a teenager's principal's office. And, of course, there was still no cure.
Out of frustration, and a hunger to do something — anything — Act Up formed from several groups and individuals all with a common goal: to radically change the homophobia, stigma, and lack of action affiliated with the early stages of the virus. Their tactics were radical. Highly visual. David versus Goliath. Because lives were simply at stake.
The movement went global, with chapters in major cities across the United States and around the world. Twenty five years later, Act Up New York is taking to the streets today in tandem with one movement that they have clearly influenced decades later: Occupy Wall Street.
On the following pages, check out a photo-based sampling of the history of Act Up. Below, listen to playwright Larry Kramer reflect on the early beginnings of Act Up.
Sign Up For Email Updates
- Artist Spotlight Artist Spotlight: Christopher Sousa 2 hours 38 min ago
- Education Theological School Grads Show Support With Rainbow Tassels May 24 2013 8:55 PM
- Technology Want the Worst? Search for 'Gayest' May 24 2013 8:25 PM
- The End of Bullying WATCH: It Already Got Better for This Colorado Student May 24 2013 7:58 PM
- Women Kaitlyn Hunt Refuses Plea, Heads to Court Over Same-Sex High School Relationship May 24 2013 7:48 PM
- Politics Ukrainian LGBT Pride Event Blocked May 24 2013 7:32 PM
- Sports MMA Fighter in First Fight Since Revealing Gender Transition May 24 2013 7:00 PM