Pop icon Cyndi Lauper got personal in an interview with Michelangelo Signorile, discussing her difficult upbringing, various sexual assaults, and her role as an LGBT ally. Her new book, Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir, recounts harrowing childhood experiences involving her “creepy” stepfather who prompted her to leave home at the age of 17, an abortion at a young age, and the pressures of fame.
“I tried to write an honest story about how I felt as an honest woman who went on to live her life on her terms,” Lauper told Signorile. “I wanted to have my sound. I wanted to have my look. I wanted it to be about me and what I wanted to contribute.”
As an advocate for LGBT rights, Lauper established the True Colors Tour and serves on the board of directors for the True Colors Fund, a non-profit she co-founded in 2008 to “inspire and engage everyone, especially straight people, to become active participants in the advancement of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality.” Realizing makes a difference, Lauper often speak frankly about her unwavering commitment to equality.
Asked about her inspiration she replied, “Because I’m a friend and family member, okay? Because I’m not gonna stand by next to one of my best friends and watch them be discriminated against and have all their civil liberties stripped down — or my sister or my cousin or whoever — and just stand there and shut up… We’re in America.”
True Colors Fund focuses primarily on at-risk youth, and with good reason, said Lauper: “Up to 40% of the kids on the street are gay or transgender and they’re only on the street because they’re gay or transgender… We figured that is fixable. We could fix that. We could get that better… You can’t throw kids away.”