|Cyndi Lauper, circa 2013 (Photo courtesy Equipe Spectra)|
Bugs' brand-new uber-queer interview with Cyndi originally ran in Daily Xtra. (A second, more mainstream interview ran in The Montreal Gazette.)
Queer audiences know Cyndi Lauper’s anthem, “True Colors,” is the theme song of the many star-studded True Colors tours she created to empower LGBT youth and benefit LGBT organizations and support groups across America.
But few people know that New York City’s True Colors Residence for homeless LGBT youth — which Lauper’s non-profit True Colors Fund built in partnership with New York’s West End Intergenerational Residence — was inspired by her close long-time friend Gregory, who was kicked out by his parents at the age of 12 when they discovered he was gay. “Gregory slept on park benches,” Lauper says today.
Shortly after Gregory died of AIDS in 1985, “True Colors” (written by songwriters Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly) was offered to Lauper.
“Songwriters pitch you songs in your style, and this song was originally written for Anne Murray. All I had was the melody and lyric. I sang it really softly,” a teary Lauper told me a year before the True Colors Residence opened in 2011. “And as time went on, I realized that with the True Colors Residence, Gregory [would] finally get his wish.”
Lauper recently told me that on opening day, “I put a little plant for Gregory in their garden.”