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Showing her true colors: kicking off her true colors tour in June, Cyndi Lauper once again proves she has pride.

She hardly girl who just wants to have tim. Through-out her 30-year, Grammy-winning career, Cyndi Lauper has been there for us through thick and thin. Now she's created the True Colors tour, which aims to be an annual Gay and Lesbian Pride Month concert--think a "Cyndipalooza"--that will travel to 15 cities in June and feature five hours of music. There'll be full sets by the diva herself as well as Erasure, Debbie Harry, the Dresden Dolls, the Gossip, and the Misshapes. Special guests, including Rufus Wainwright, Rosie O'Donnell, and the Indigo Girls, are slated to pop up on the tour along the way. Presented by gay cable network Logo, the tour will give $1 made from every concert ticket directly to the Human Rights Campaign.

Well, Cyndi, the tour sounds fabulous.

It is! Judy Shepard will have bracelets that say ERASE HATE when you enter, but once you go in that's it, no more hate. We're havin' a party--it's a birthday, it's pride, so I don't know what's gonna happen! Andy [Bell] was the first to sign on--and I just recorded a song with Erasure for my new album, so we'll all pop oustage with each other. And I know Beth [Ditto] is cool from the Gossip, so I'll probably jump on with her too, and Margaret Cho's the emcee.

How'd you come to be the tour's organizer?

It's something I've wanted to do for a long time. And this way you get to got and give. That's why when they said "We'll make it the True Colors tour," I said, "Well, then we should include the Human Rights Campaign"--because the song "True Colors" means so much to the LGBT community, and you can't ignore that. I've read letters on the Internet, and when people say a song made them feel like they could get through it after they'd been disenfranchised by their friends, their family, their jobs--and they're suicidal--well ...

You shouldn't be made to feel badly about who you are. You're bern that way. For God's sake, come on already! That's why our grandparents came here, just to get a fair shake. I have every right and you have every right to be who you are.

Was the song "True Colors" specifically inspired by the gay rights movement?

No, but I had just lost my dear friend Gregory to AIDS--and this was a friend, younger than me, who I thought I'd know my whole life. He and his lover lived downstairs from me a long time ago and ... well, they made my life. Like when I was in [my first band] Blue Angel and was tryin' to figure out this outfit, Gregory said, "Well, hon, I have this girdle I kept from drag, and you can wear it." When Gregory was really sick it was when "That's What Friends Are For" was out, and he said, "You gotta write a song like that." So I wrote "Boy Blue," but it wasn't good for repetitive radio play, so in the interim I came upon "True Colors." Cut to years later and the pride [celebration] pier [at New York City's Christopher Street]. I was doing the sound check and started to do "True Colors," and some guy walked up with a rainbow flag and said, "Here--I designed this flag and was inspired by your song." So I wrapped it around me, and [gasps] the song never felt the same way again. And then I realized that ... Gregory got his wish.

Awww ... you know, Cyndi, you're so beloved by us all

Look, I have friends and family like my sister, Ellen, in the community. What the hell am I supposed to do, just stand by? And I'm so proud of Debbie for comin' on and standin' up and Erasure and everybody that joined this tour. I want a show which presents a happy, celebratory family.

What will you say in towns like Salt Lake City, where the Mormons are so terribly repressive of the LGBT community?

I'll just give them an inclusive hug and tell them that everybody has a right to their own ideas and voice. And that God made all the wildflowers, even the ones that grow on the side of the road. And God doesn't weed a garden, people do that, so don't worry about it. Sometimes the littlest things are encouragement to go on and that's it gonna be OK and you must never lose your heart. So I'm gonna be out with my peeps, I'm havin' a party, and I don't care what anybody else says. I am gonna have a good time, damn it, Janet!
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Title Annotation:THE MUSIC ISSUE
Author:Bardin, Brantley
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Date:Apr 24, 2007
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