For some people, Cyndi Lauper’s classic True Colors is just another love song. But as Lauper learned from reading fans’ letters, for others, the song’s lyrics about letting “your true colors shine through” had a much deeper meaning.
A lot of people were saying that when it came out (in 1986) they were teenagers and they were coming out, says Lauper, a longtime gay rights supporter. They were disowned by their family and friends and their jobs got all messed up and they were totally alone, and suicidal, and then they heard True Colors and it made them feel hopeful.
So it is fitting that Lauper, 53, is one of the headlines on the new True Colors tour, which will hit major cities nationwide to promote gay rights. Other performers for the 15-city event, which kicks off in Las Vegas on June 8 and ends in Los Angeles on June 30, are Deborah Harry, Erasure and Margaret Cho. The tour makes its lone Canadian stop in Toronto on June 19.
This tour is basically gonna be five hours of some of my favorite bands and me, Margaret Cho making us laugh, and while we were touring, we’re going to be raising awareness, Lauper told The Association Press on Friday. I think people don’t know what’s going on, that’s all.
Besides headliners like Lauper and Harry, the show will have guest artists such as Rufus Wainwright. The tour will provide information to fans who attend, as well as purple wristbands with the slogan Erase Hate from the Matthew Sheppard organization, named for a gay youth killed in an apparent hate crime. A dollar from every ticket sold will be earn for the Human Rights Campaign, which advocates equal rights for gays, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.