Singer and LGBT icon Donna Summer passed away in Florida this morning at age 63, according to TMZ. Since the very beginnings of her career in the 1970s, Summer was a gay icon and indelible symbol of the disco-era.
In a 2008 interview with PrideSource, the singer credited her LGBT fans with helping to launch her career, saying "From the beginning, my whole scene broke out in the gay clubs... I don't know if I would have a career if it hadn't been, in some ways, for the way 'Love to Love You Baby' started off and everybody jumped on it. It was really in the gay clubs the song took off —they really embraced that new sound. I have to give credit where credit is due."
In the mid-80s, rumors began that the singer had made homophobic remarks during the HIV/AIDS epidemic. She attempted to counter those rumors in an interview with The Advocate in 1989, saying “I’ve lost a lot of friends who have died of AIDS. I’m hurtin as much as anyone else at the amount of people who are gone.”
Today many LGBT sites, community members and allies have spoken out about Summer and her music – share your thoughts below!