Disco queen Donna Summer was riding high on the fame wave in the late 70’s, until she was quoted by the Village Voice in 1983 as saying “AIDS was God's punishment to gays.”
While drugs and depression contributed to the singer’s downfall, many think it was the fact that the LGBT community—her biggest fan base—never forgave her for those remarks attributed to her.
What many didn’t know is that Summer, who died last month of cancer at the age of 63, was looking to make amends with her gay fans.
On Tuesday, 12 June, AIDS and gay rights activist Peter Staley shared on his blog the text of a letter Summer wrote to the group ACT UP in 1989. According to his post, Staley had joined the AIDS activist group two years before.
According to her letter, the singer wrote she had not responded immediately after the comments attributed to her because at around that time she gave birth to two babies in 18 months, was involved in a major lawsuit, and had suffered through some deaths in her family.
“My manager at the time felt my life and emotional health was at stake so there was no response,” she explained
“Since then, however, I have made numerous replies and spoken openly to try and clear up this misunderstanding,” she wrote. “I did not say God is punishing gays with aids, I did not sit with ill intentions in judgement over your lives. I haven't stopped talking to my friends who are gay, nor have I ever chosen my friends by their sexual preferences.”
Below is the letter posted on Poz blog: