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Donna Summer's Letter to ACT UP

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Rick Shur

It helps to remember that she was being vilified by the Christian Right for being a salacious slut. She got her start in church, and she found herself being damned by many people whom she grew up with. She was probably very afraid for her soul, something that many of us who braved coming out of the closet should be able to appreciate. I compare Donna to Peter, who, terrified, denyied his friendship with Jesus. Jesus gave Peter (and everybody else in the world) a pass. As a gay Christian, I think Jesus wants me to give Donna a pass, so, for Christ's sake, I do, and I feel better for it. RIP girl. You worked hard for the money, and, on balance, you brought us much more joy than pain.

September 21, 2012


Even in death, religion manages to rip people apart.

July 7, 2012

True Fan

You are a vicious little ugly soul Matt. You were NOT THERE because if you were, or any of you were, why didn't any of you come forward as witnesses to this ALLEGED statement when she sued for liable?? If it really existed on video do you not think it would have been used as PROOF so the paper didn't have to settle out of court for a HUGE sum of money!!?? In fact, when she politely asked them to retract the article as it wasn't true, THEY said NO, it sells a lot of papers. And THAT is what it's all about. They didn't seem to care that printing something like this as fact would hurt someone's career, whether it was true or not. They didn't care if some MISGUIDED FANS would turn on her and never give her the chance to prove her innocent. No - all I have EVER heard about this RUMOR is "I know a friend.. a friend of a friend...etc No one was ACTUALLY THERE. It was NEVER said by HER and was NEVER PROVEN. She was the most talented female singer to ever grace this planet and she gave everything of herself for all of her fans (and almost her life). To put up with this shit for years on end would test even the most patient. But she remained true, she GAVE back to the community and she LOVED. God Bless Her Soul as HE did her voice. RIP Donna Summer

July 7, 2012

B. Akins

I have NEVER seen an ET or anyother televison confession by her about the anit-gay remarks as being true. I am sure if it existed, I would have surfaced years ago - and even now; it would be invaluable. You see this letter surfaced. I imaagine you imagined such an interview. Maybe you saw a sound bite of an interview she denied the rumor -- there are plenty of those. I read about the letter in 1991, but never saw it until now. A close mutual(gay) friend says she was far from homophobic and treated him, and other gay friends in the business with love and respect.

July 2, 2012


Thanks for remembering the truth about Donna Summer. BTW, if you're originally from Philadelphia and visited Fire Island, NY, I remember you.

June 20, 2012


Thank you for remembering the truth. When her career flat-lined and gay money was no longer coming in, she FINALLY apologized and tried to make amends. She refused to raise money early on, when it would have meant so much. Yes, some of us still remember what really happened. May she rot in hell.

June 20, 2012


Why dig this up in a spirit of anger? Surely we can make ammends after a passing of a soul. Peter, given all the change you personally have ushered, I am sure you have seen many a monster see the light?

June 19, 2012

Grant Burnside

So sad that this has all come up again, but bad news will always be remembered more than any good news. This whole 'anti-gay' Donna Summer debacle began back in June 1983 after writer Jim Feldman (Village Voice) damned her show with a dreadful review. He clearly was not a happy man, and the alleged comment about 'Adam & Steve' WAS made that that show because I was there and heard it myself. I didn't find that comment offensive in any way, if anything it served as a reminder that Donna was very aware a large proportion of her audience were gay men. I took that as a positive, unlike Mr Feldman who complained about everything from the stage props, the price of the ticket and the various outfits Ms Summer wore that evening. He was full of vitriol and this small story resulting from one man being upset snowballed . . . But it was a slow burner. By mid 1984 the 'Aids is God's sin for homosexuals sinful ways' started to circulate, but without ANY back up or proof. This statement was never proved nor reported, and it's THIS statement Donna Summer always denied ever having made. And let's face it, who actually speaks or makes any comment using those actual words. The 'statement' was made up by a lot of the gay press and after some time it was, of course, being read as fact. Donna Summer was NOT anti gay, but at the same time she was no pro gay. She had the right to that choice, but that didn't mean she should be vilified for it. We loved her music, we put her on that pedestal and we all therefore expected so much from her. When she didn't deliver in quite the way Madonna eventually went on to do, we accused, attacked and pigeonholed HER. She was always a christian, raised in a church going family and it was with her family and her faith she eventually found real solace from the whirlwind success of her career and crazy lifestyle. Just because she didn't become the 'fag hag' celebrity we would all have loved her to be, some chose to attack her. I met with her and her family many times during the 1980's and onwards, and never once found any of them to be judgmental of me in any way shape or form. Donna herself was nothing other than totally honest, friendly and incredibly warm & funny. She knew who I was, where I was from and how I lived my life. I was never turned away or felt remotely uncomfortable in her company, quite the opposite in fact. Let her rest in peace, and let's not forget the thrill of hearing her songs in the bars and clubs back in the day, because that is all any of us should really be focussing on right now. Hopefully she will rest in peace, but with some antagonists out there, I doubt this will ever really go away. A real shame, what more can I say?

June 16, 2012


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