Tony Winner and Activist Cyndi Lauper on Why She "Gives a Damn" About the Future of LGBT Youth

By Brandon Voss
27 Jun 2014

Cyndi Lauper
Cyndi Lauper
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

As part of's 30 Days of Pride, we catch up with Tony and Grammy-winning Kinky Boots composer Cyndi Lauper to discuss her fight to end LGBT youth homelessness through the True Colors Fund.


She's still so unusual — and so is her remarkably tireless commitment to LGBT equality.

Almost 30 years after Cyndi Lauper released her seminal debut album, "She's So Unusual," the colorful '80s pop icon took home the Tony Award for Best Original Score for Kinky Boots, making her the first woman to win in that category without a partner. Featuring a book by Tony winner Harvey Fierstein, Kinky Boots, which opened April 4, 2013, at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, also won the Tony for Best Musical and the Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album.

Based on the 2005 movie of the same name, Kinky Boots stars Tony winner Billy Porter as Lola, a feisty drag queen who, against all odds, saves a small town shoe factory on the verge of bankruptcy. Its inspirational message of tolerance and self-empowerment has always been close to the composer's heart.

In 2008 Lauper co-founded the True Colors Fund, the leading national organization devoted to raising awareness about and bringing an end to LGBT youth homelessness. The True Colors Fund's "Give a Damn" campaign also works to encourage everyone, particularly straight people, to care about equality for all.

Currently performing as a special guest on Cher's Dressed to Kill tour, Lauper spoke with about what fuels her devotion to the LGBT community, time after time.

Since co-founding the True Colors Fund, you've remained one of the busiest ladies in show business — composing Kinky Boots, recording albums, touring, writing a memoir, starring in a reality show and much more. Many celebrities would spend their free time relaxing. What continues to inspire your fight for equality and the end of LGBT homelessness?
Cyndi Lauper: Listen, I am family and friend of the community, and where I come from you stand by the people you care about. I cannot sit quietly by while their civil rights are being stripped away, and I won't stop speaking out until we have full equality for everyone. I especially won't give up until we make sure that no kid is homeless simply because they are gay or transgender. As a mom, I cannot understand how any parent can throw away their kid, let alone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.


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