Donna Summers ACTUP Letter Becomes Public

Remember 1989?  When there was no internet. News DID NOT travel at the speed of light. People used snail mail. It was very hard to get your message out, effectively.

Donna Summer became an instant icon for the gay community
during her 1970s heyday. So when she allegedly made a number of
religion-inspired remarks about the gay community as well as HIV/AIDS
during a 1983 performance, the “Queen of Disco” faced an immediate
backlash.  But, she had no idea the backlash was going on. She was shielded by the people around her.

“It was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” Summer was quoted as having said during the Atlantic City performance by the Village Voice, according to The Advocate.
She is said to have also noted, “I’ve seen the evil homosexuality come
out of you people… AIDS is the result of your sins. Now don’t get me
wrong; God loves you. But not the way you are now.”

Now, however, a letter of apology written by Summer to a prominent AIDS advocacy group in 1989 has emerged in its entirety for the first time via POZ Magazine’s blog. In it, the singer, who died of lung cancer at 63 last month,
denies making the remarks about the gay community, but whether or not
it would’ve been enough to appease those sullen fans at the time it was
written is uncertain.

Why this letter was never  made public, who knows.  ACTUPs  media coordinator at the time, knew it existed. And he was able to recover it from the archives, which are now in storage. Was it suppressed from the public by ACTUP because ACTUP wanted to control this whole mishap with Summer?  No one will ever really know.

But thanks  to  POZ Blogs PETER STALEY for this wonderfully insightful story.