“Won’t Be Silent – Don’t Stop ’til It Matters”

is a candid and humorous retelling of an unconventional life, finally worth living.
Abe’s madcap journey through seemingly endless obstacles is an insightful story of survival with grace, unshakable resilience, teachable hullabaloos, and found joy.


In this riveting memoir, humorist and LGBTQ activist Gurko unpacks, with incisive wit, a bold and surprising life. Reflecting on his youth as a Jewish boy in New Jersey, Gurko draws strength and life lessons from his parents, both survivors of the Holocaust, who planted in him “the seed of awareness that would eventually compel me to understand and embrace the importance of speaking up and sharing our stories, no matter what.” The stories he shares jolt, amuse, and illuminate.

From New York to California, Gurko weaves an exhilarating tale of nights at Studio 54, working as a personal trainer to the Hollywood elite, and the go-nowhere conversations one might have over dinner as an escort. (“To what country are you the Ambassador?” he asks a client at a 3-star Michelin restaurant. The response: “I’m not at liberty to discuss.”)

For all Gurko’s crack comic timing, the storytelling here is at times raw in its honesty and always revealing in its emotional depth. Through challenges, tragedies, and triumphs—such as discovering life-changing family history and giving a distant relative a voice after being silenced—Gurko’s life story will pull readers in with humor and humility.

His childhood struggles with his weight and height, plus feeling like an “other” in a suburban Jersey school in 1968, are all moving, as is his account of beginning to wonder “Oy vey, am I a homosexual or what?” (A classic early sign: being “shaken to the core” by The Wizard of Oz.) Also powerful: accounts of addiction (“There was only one sport I excelled in: partying,” he writes”) and then getting sober amid the devastation of the AIDS crisis.

Relatable, impassioned, and moving, Won’t Be Silent is an inspiring memoir of fully living one’s truth, from Gurko’s nervousness about coming out to his parents to his full embrace, in the face of the rise of white nationalism in the Trump era, of the “honor” and “responsibility” of his heritage.



Abe lives by two edicts: “Life is choice” and “That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

These core principles evolved from surviving his darkest challenges and discovering that navigating difficult situations are the teaching moments that help us grow spiritually and emotionally.

Won’t Be Silent—Don’t Stop ’til It Matters is a poignant reminder – when life throws lemons, those challenges don’t define us. We can embrace our better angels and maintain our dignity and integrity because, in the end, that’s what really matters.

Topics That Matter
“I Won’t Be Silent About…”

  • Coming Out & Fighting for Gay Rights
  • Weighty Issues Like Weight
  • Political Clarity & Activism
  • Democracy Über Alles
  • Being Second-Generation Holocaust Survivor
  • Fighting Antisemitism
  • The Spiritual Journey To & Away from God
  • Building Community

About Abe

When Abe Gurko packed his bags and moved from New York City to Hollywood, he wasn’t leaving a career in the fashion industry to chase the usual dream of becoming a movie star. “I wanted to be a mechanic to the machine called celebrity.” Over the next few years, he developed his skills as a behind-the-scenes creative working with arguably the coolest woman in Hollywood, Carrie Fisher. There, he acquired an intimate knowledge of the writing process and observed the inner workings of the entertainment industry. “I was like Alice careening through the Looking Glass, Mad Hatter and all.”

Before finishing his debut memoir, Abe spent decades producing countless high-profile events: premieres, fashion shows, and music videos; created New York Design Week and even races in Central Park. His fundraising activities helped raise money for AIDS, other charities, and the theatre. He is currently in production on two documentaries:

Won’t Be Silent – The history of protest music, co-produced by Selena Gomez and Stacey Abrams for MAX.

Wolf’s Song – The discovery of a long-lost piece of music written in a concentration camp by his uncle, composer/conductor Wolf Durmashkin, who was killed hours before the liberation.

Abe is living happily ever after in La La Land with his husband, Shlomi, and their Chihuahua, Alfie.