“Message Queens”: Aids Protest Literature, the Gay Community and Writing as a Political Act

  • Anna Ferrari Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza"
Keywords: AIDS Literature, Protest, Gay Literature, Humor


The explosion of the AIDS epidemic in the early Eighties, and the subsequent position the gay community found itself in, brought the need for writers to become politically engaged. The protest against the institutions took different forms and activism was interpreted differently from different authors. Larry Kramer was very political and attacked both the government and the gay community, David Feinberg was aggressive but preferred humor as a weapon to protest, while Sarah Schulman chose a purer form of fiction and alongside the epidemic narrated the protests and the process of gentrification in the Village area. All these literary texts, and many more, have contributed to save and shape both gay culture and the gay community.