Photos: Cyndi Lauper’s 9th Annual ‘Home For The Holidays’ Benefit Concert

Billy Porter at the 9th Annual “Home for the Holidays” event for True Colors United

Cyndi Lauper – the Grammy, Emmy and Tony-winning icon and advocate – hosted for her 9th annual Cyndi Lauper & Friends: Home for the Holidays benefit concert, presented by Marriott International and AEG, on December 10th.

Along with Cyndi and her band, guests this year included modern pop icon Kesha, Grammy/Tony/Emmy-winner Billy Porter, 3x Grammy-winning artist Brandi Carlile, prolific chart-topper and staunch LGBTQ advocate Belinda Carlisle, punk icon Henry Rollins, legendary comics Carol Leifer and Lily Tomlin, and Grammy & Emmy-nominated actress/performer Margaret Cho, among many others.

Cyndi also welcomed back Emmy-winner and TCU board member Carson Kressley as host.

Belinda Carlisle and Cyndi Lauper perform ‘True Colors’

Home for the Holidays is known for always having a cool and eclectic mix of performers,” said Lauper. “I mean, c’mon. Where else are you gonna see Billy Porter and Henry Rollins on the same bill! It’s going to be such a great night.”

100% of the net proceeds from the concert will support True Colors United’s programs to prevent and end homelessness among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.

In America, up to 40% of the 4.2 million youth experiencing homelessness in America are LGBTQ and, according to a recent study from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, LGBTQ young people are 120% more likely to experience homelessness than non-LGBTQ youth.

Among many other initiatives, Lauper, who co-founded the organization eleven years ago, has testified and helped secure funding in Congress for a new federal program that is working to finally bring an end to youth homelessness in over 70 communities nationwide.

Head over to the official website for more information.

The one and only Cyndi Lauper
Cyndi Lauper with Kesha
L-R Margaret Cho, Kesha, Cyndi Lauper, Billy Porter, Justin Tranter
Emmy and Grammy Award winner Billy Porter

(all photos courtesy of True Colors United)

Belinda Carlisle To Mississippi Governor: You Are Making Life Hell On Earth For Your LGBT Citizens

Belinda Carlisle stands up for LGBT Mississippians

Via press release: Pop star Belinda Carlisle, of “The GoGo’s” fame, is calling on Governor Phil Bryant to repeal the recently-passed HB 1523, which attacks lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Mississippians by permitting businesses, individuals, and social service agencies to freely discriminate based on personal religious beliefs.

Governor Bryant, I am scheduled to perform in your great state this Saturday, however given the very recent anti-LGBTQ attacks that your administration has leveled against some of your own citizens I very nearly cancelled my appearance. After discussion with various LGBTQ groups, however, I’ve decided to go forward with the show in order to say a few things to those who live in the Magnolia State — and I want to start off by addressing you directly.

As the very proud mother of a gay child I can’t imagine anything less Christian than using the law as a weapon against others. Because of my career as a performer and the privilege that has brought to our family, my son will be all right, but the pain you’re causing LGBTQ Mississippians is devastating, especially the transgender folks and LGBTQ people of color who will be most directly impacted by these attacks. Brave organizers like Kaylee — a black transgender Mississippian — and Brandiilyne — a lesbian pastor in Mississippi — are just two of the people who will be directly impacted by hateful bills like these. Their bravery in organizing against these attacks is stunning.

Nearly 30 years ago, I released a song titled “Heaven Is a Place on Earth.” I was proud of the message of that song then and I continue to be proud of it today. Unfortunately, Governor Bryant, you and those around you are making life hell on earth for many Mississippians.

So I’ll go forward with my show on Saturday and I’ll use it as an opportunity to speak the truth about the bravery of people like Kaylee and Brandiilyne and so many others across your state who are resilient and loving and brave. Finally, it is my call, as a mother, that you bring a little bit of heaven to Mississippi by repealing HB1523. – Belinda Carlisle

(h/t JMG)