Bob Kohler, gay activist and Stonewall veteran, dies

via the Village Voice 

Bob Kohler, gay activist, former owner of The Loft on Christopher Street, Stonewall veteran, co-founder of the Gay Liberation Front, ACT UP member, and longtime fixture of Charles Street, died on Wednesday at the age of 81. The cause of death was cancer, according to friends.

In 1999, Bob helped form Fed Up Queers, a direct action cell that challenged the rise of right-wing gay groups, discriminatory AIDS policies, and Mayor Giuliani’s targeting of queers, people with HIV/AIDS, people on welfare, low-income people, and people of color, among other issues. In 2001, when the City of New York began illegally denying emergency housing to homeless people with AIDS, Bob became the core volunteer in an activist operation to pressure the city. Bob, who was 75 at the time, stood outside the housing agency for hours each day for a year, supporting PWAs and calling on politicians and news media. His work formed the basis of a lawsuit that forced the City into compliance with housing assistance laws hard-won by AIDS activists in the 1990s.

Most recently, Bob has mentored the queer youth of FIERCE! in their struggles against displacement, police harassment, and attacks by residents of the gentrified, increasingly  heterosexual West Village.”

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