Donald Suggs is Dead at 51

Donald Suggs and his longtime partner Jeremy Hess.

BY TROY MASTERS | Donald Suggs, who spent a lifetime engaged in progressive causes, died of a heart attack on October 7 at the age of 51.

A former associate director of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and program director at Harlem United, an AIDS organization, Suggs was a founder of People Using Media to Do Prevention, or the PUMP project, which taught young people from neighborhoods devastated by HIV how to produce prevention videos. Better World Advertising, which manages HIV messaging campaigns targeting LGBT and people of color communities, grew out of the PUMP effort. Suggs also worked on prevention education projects internationally –– from Puebla, Mexico to Santo Domingo and Bani in the Dominican Republic.

As a journalist, Suggs was a senior editor at the Village Voice, and a contributor to the New York Times and the Advocate, among other publications. As a board member at the Manhattan Neighborhood Network, he was instrumental in bringing “Gay USA” into the fold there.

A resident of the East Village, Suggs is survived by his longtime partner, Jeremy Hess, and his son, Luis Ramirez.

A full obituary remembering Donald Suggs will appear in the October 24 issue of Gay City News.