It was kind of appropriate, as Pride Month wound down, that the amazing Cyndy Lauper celebrated her 68th birthday last week. The title track of her second album, "True Colors," has become a song closely identified with the LGBTQ+ community --- and Lauper, one of our staunchest allies.
The song itself was written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, although the arrangement that propelled it to the top of the charts was Lauper's own. The song resonated, she said, because it reminded her of a friend, Gregory Natal, who had died recently of HIV/AIDS. He had been made homeless as a youth after being kicked out by his family because of his sexual orientation.
Lauper went on to found True Colors United, an organization that focuses on homeless youth. Current estimates suggest that about 40 percent of homeless young people in the United States are LGBTQ+ although their share of the youth population in general would be something like seven percent.
Here's a performance of the song, recorded during September of 2020 as part of the Los Angeles LGBT Center's "Love in Action" virtual gala.