News & Politics

‘Political Funeral’ For Bob Kohler Sunday


The best way to send off Bob Kohler, say friends of the gay rights pioneer who died on Wednesday at 81, is with some good old-fashioned activism.

Many of those who loved Bob will gather at 4 pm on Sunday at the LGBT Center at 208 W. 13th Street for a “political funeral.” At 5 pm, Bob’s friends will march to Christopher Street, where Kohler operated The Loft for many years, before heading to the pier.

An organizer of the political funeral explained the spirit of the event thusly:

Our friend Bob Kohler died Wednesday, after 81 years of fierce organizing in the street and doing his damnedest to make our community a community. His death came more quickly than he expected, so he didn’t get to see a lot of the wide circle of friends who loved him—although he constantly talked about how much it meant to him that people were asking about him, wanting to see him, and just waiting to be allowed to come.

Since Bob couldn’t hold court in the usual fashion, we promised him a big, loud send-off with everyone there. He asked to be cremated, and he wants to spend eternity on Christopher Street. As usual, Bob gets his way.

According to organizers, marchers will:

  • Demand space for queers & queer youth of color in the Village.
  • Demand a cure for AIDS
  • Demand HASA For All. Under HASA For All legislation, sponsored by Councilwoman Annabel Palma, people with HIV who have remained asymptomatic would gain full access to the housing assistance programs available through the city’s HIV/ AIDS Services Administration, or HASA.
  • Demand respect for “the crazies” who (as Bob liked to point out) are the ones who usually lead the way.In addition to the political funeral, a memorial for Kohler will be organized in a few weeks. For more information email

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