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Donna Sue Johnson

New York, LGBT activist, social worker and U.S. Air Force veteran

Donna Sue Johnson is happiest talking to older LGBT adults about what is happening in their lives.

She is a social worker and a group facilitator for LGBT elder programs, which she now leads over the phone or through Zoom due to COVID-19. For some of her clients who suffer from social isolation and discrimination because of their age and sexual orientation, she is a lifeline.

As a social worker on the front lines, she is quick to reach out to those who feel alone and need her words of understanding and compassion. Her support has earned their trust. She tells them: “Hold on. Every obstacle is a brilliantly disguised blessing.”

Prior to becoming a mental health professional, she served in the United States Air Force as a 2nd Lieutenant in the early 1980s. For fun, the New Jersey native plays the West African Djembe drum with a group in Prospect Park.

Clearly, Donna Sue’s life has not plateaued just because she is 64. Just the opposite. It is on a trajectory. She dreams of one day opening an assisted living facility specifically for older LGBT adults.

Donna Sue is proud of her accomplishments and believes the best is yet to come.

“My name is Donna Sue Johnson, and I am a big, black, beautiful, bohemian, bougie, Buddhist butch.”

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