Donnie was as eclectic in his interests as he was eccentric in personality. In addition to his gay-rights work, at various points in his life Donnie was a sailor, a journalist, a Buddhist priest, a student of Hinduism, a Quaker activist, a founder of the bisexual movement, a member of Mensa, and a punk rocker. Victim of a gang rape while imprisoned after an anti-Vietnam protest in the early 1970s, Donnie had in recent years headed the group "Stop Prison Rape," making many media appearances on behalf of this effort.
A longtime resident of Morningside Heights, Donnie was also, at the time of his death, a member of the Columbia University Seminar on the Homosexualities (CUSH), and had planned to be involved with the commemoration of the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of the SHL this fall. Donnie died seven days short of his fiftieth birthday.