Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cyndi Lauper: 'Stop Calling Me A Gay Icon!'

"[Cyndi Lauper]... helped launch the True Colors tour, with proceeds going to gay rights groups, and the True Colors Shelter for queer youth in New York City. She also recently launched the Give A Damn campaign to promote respect for queer people – that’s the TV spot in which Oscar winner Anna Paquin comes out as bisexual..."'s Susan G. Cole writes:
Cyndi Lauper’s a little sick of being called a gay icon. I try it out on her and get a bit of a slapdown. “Don’t call me that,” she says. “Sometimes the icon thing, it sounds frivolous... I’m not Streisand, I’m not Liza Minnelli. I don’t even dance. I tried doing that once at the Gay Games in 1994, but the shoes alone made that hard.”

Though she rejects icon status, she does allow that she’s super-connected to the queer community. Her story about that is, as she says, not frivolous at all. “I thought of the gay community as a refuge to get away from, well, straight people, actually, who kept asking, ‘Why are you so different?’ and I couldn’t take it any more.”

Protesters at Cyndi Lauper’s concert on Saturday (July 3) at Queen’s Park in Toronto?

At the June 7 meeting at the 519 in support of free speech and to organize against Pride Toronto’s decision to ban the term “Israeli apartheid” at the big parade (Pride Toronto has since changed its mind about that), some activists suggested taking action at Lauper’s big concert Saturday (July 3) at Queen’s Park.

Next to the Pride Day parade, her event is considered this year’s biggest draw. When I ask Lauper what she thinks about a protest at her gig, she gives it some serious thought.

“Oh,” she says, and I can almost hear the gears turning inside her head. “In a way it is like apartheid [in Israel], because the Palestinians are outside of the city like the South African blacks were.

“They [Queers Against Israeli Apartheid] should hand out information so people can read about it. For crying out loud, if people can hand out pamphlets for hamburgers or manicures, [QuAIA] should hand out theirs, as long as it’s backed up by information. If you have people’s stories, that’s the best.”

With all the political talk and Lauper’s high-profile support of the LGBT community, it’s easy to forget that she has a new album.

Read the full interview here.
Learn more about Cyndi Lauper's Give A Damn campaign by visiting her official site.