THEGAYUK

We Are Gay UK

RIP: Donna Summer Defining Diva

Controversy aside, Donna Summer is one of the undisputed disco divas to grace the earth.

Donna Summer died on the 17th May 2012, Key West, Florida following a battle with cancer.

Although seen as a gay icon, Summer’s career took a blow when in the mid 80’s reports of alleged anti-gay remarks regarding AIDS which resulted in a significantly negative effect on her career. It is alleged that she said that AIDS was a punishment from God for the immoral lifestyles of homosexuals.(1)(2) Summers denied that she ever made such a comment and in a letter to ACT UP (an AIDS campaign group) in 1989 she said that it was:

“a terrible misunderstanding. I was unknowingly protected by those around me from the bad press and hate letters… If I have caused you pain, forgive me.”

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Also in 1989, Summer told The Advocate magazine that:

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“A couple of the people I write with are gay, and they have been ever since I met them. What people want to do with their bodies is their personal preference.” (3)

In 1991 Summers filed a lawsuit against NEW YORK magazine when it reprinted the rumours as fact.

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However Donna’s lasting legacy is her infectious, upbeat and downright catchy tunes, which has had this writer dancing round his man-bag at many a disco.

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