Today I would like to honor and celebrate a fierce and lifelong LGBT ally — a woman dedicated to civil rights for all and social justice, not to mention a personal hero of mine, Cyndi Lauper. Lauper founded the Give A Damn Campaign, which strives for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender equality. What a lovely voice of solidarity for the LGBTQ community. Her activism is greatly appreciated and she uses her celebrity for the greater good.
Lauper’s True Colors tour — taking its title from her #1 ballad to being true to yourself – is a wonderful spectacle of support for the LGBTQ community and for strong voices in the music community representing marginalized populations. She truly exemplifies the values she speaks. Activist neo-divas like P!nk and Lady Gaga owe a great debt to her bold example.
More recently, Lauper started True Colors Residence, providing housing for LGBT youth. Yes, sadly, there are far too many LGBT youth who find themselves homeless after coming out. Announcing the facility, she stated:
These young people often face discrimination and at times physical assault in some of the very places they have to go to for help. This is shocking and inexcusable!
Lauper also successfully turned her many talents in a new direction with a recent Broadway hit. Director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell asked her to write the music and lyrics for a stage adaptation of the true-story movie Kinky Boots. Harvey Fierstein came on board to write the book for this story of a young man who recruits a drag queen to help him save his family shoe factory by designing comfortable and stylish drag footwear. Nominated for 13 Tony Awards, the show’s win for Best Musical may be the gayest Tony ever. Lauper became the first woman to win Best Original Score solo, adding another first to her list of accomplishments.
From the very beginning, Lauper has used her star power to help the under-represented. On her groundbreaking video for Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, she insisted that the performers be as diverse as possible wanting:
every girl who saw the video to see herself represented and empowered, whether she was thin or heavy, glamorous or not. I wanted women of every race.
She has used that same philosophy to great impact in her support of the LGBT community. Thank goodness for allies like Lauper.