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)

News Round-Up: December 11, 2019

Josh Rimer, left, with his fiancée Heath

Some news items you might have missed:

• Gay Cities: A gay Canadian man was denied the chance to have his wedding at a Sheraton hotel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, because the staff did not want to host a ceremony with two men. Marriott International later apologized saying, “We will focus not only on getting it right for our guest, but also take a closer look at policies and training at the property level, doing all we can to prevent hurtful experiences like this from happening again.”

Washington Blade: The U.S. Senate approved on Tuesday an openly gay federal prosecutor named by President Trump for a seat on the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, making him the highest-ranking openly gay federal judge in the country.

Gaily Grind: The runner who slapped a TV reporter’s behind during a live broadcast of a race on Saturday has been identified by online sleuths as a local youth minister and Boy Scout leader, according to multiple news outlets.

Axios: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) told CNN on Wednesday that he’s “very much torn” on voting to convict President Trump in a Senate impeachment trial.

NY Times: I can’t explain it, but I’m over the moon that after 37 years Vanna White is hosting Wheel of Fortune for a few weeks (in a glass ceiling breaking moment) while Pat Sajak recovers from emergency surgery.

Stereogum: Every winter, Cyndi Lauper hosts her all-star Home For The Holiday benefit raising money for LGBTQ youth homelessness. Last night, Lauper headlined the 2019 edition of the show at the Novo for the event’s first year in Los Angeles. Lauper performed alongside people like Kesha, King Princess, Perry Farrell, Lily Tomlin, Belinda Carlisle, and the awesome Henry Rollins of Black Flag fame.

News Round-Up: April 24, 2019

David Hernandez

Some news item you might have missed:

• Out singer/songwriter and American Idol alum David Hernandez found my favorite place in Puerto Vallarta – Mantamar Beach Club. If you look behind him in the lower right hand corner, you can see the cabanas hot hubby Michael and I always spend our days in 🙂

• File this under ‘Birds of a feather…’ One of the co-founders of Students For Trump has been arrested for pretending to be a Manhattan lawyer and taking thousands from would-be clients.

• Five states – California, New Mexico, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington – have announced they will refuse to impose Donald Trump’s trans military ban and therefore not remove trans people from their National Guards.

• Donald Trump says his administration is “fighting all the subpoenas” claiming the Democrats are hoping to “luck out” by going after him. If you’re innocent, why hide anything?

• Former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was told not to bring up any concerns about  Russian forms of interference in the 2020 election in front of Donald Trump because he “equated any public discussion of malign Russian election activity with questions about the legitimacy of his victory.”

• Fox’s Empire will feature the first black gay wedding on network television; and it may be Jussie Smollett’s last episode.

• Today is True Colors Day – launched by Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors United organization in an effort to raise public awareness about LGBTQ youth homelessness, and to provide supporters with simple ways to make a difference.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people are 120% more likely to experience homelessness than non-LGBTQ youth. While many factors contribute to LGBTQ youth homelessness, identity-based family rejection is the most commonly cited reason.

The cast of FX’s Pose sat down to make this video for True Colors Day about how we can change our culture to one of love and acceptance.

Cyndi Lauper’s ‘True Colors Fund’ Is Now ‘True Colors United’

Cyndi Lauper

Pop icon and human rights advocate Cyndi Lauper announced via Instagram that her True Colors campaign, which works to help homeless LGBTQ youth, will now expand its work to advocate for all homeless youth as True Colors United.

From Lauper’s Instagram:

Big News! The True Colors Fund is now @truecolorsunited. Advocate. Educate. Collaborate. End youth homelessness. We have to solve this issue by working together.

Via press release:

The True Colors Fund, a leader in the pursuit to prevent and end youth homelessness, has announced a major rebrand, including a new name, logo, and visual identity.

The new name, True Colors United, emphasizes the importance of working together to create an equitable world and reflects the responsibility we have as a society to eliminate the barriers youth experiencing homelessness face in achieving happy and healthy lives.

In the United States, 4.2 million youth experience homelessness each year, with LGBTQ youth 120% more likely to experience homelessness than their non-LGBTQ peers. Furthermore, up to 40% of all youth experiencing homelessness are LGBTQ, while only 10% of the general youth population is LGBTQ. Black/African American youth have an 83% higher risk of homelessness, while Hispanic youth have a 33% higher risk. True Colors United has set bold new goals for the future to bring these numbers down. By 2024, the organization aims to:

• Establish and implement LGBTQ inclusion standards for organizations and communities working to address youth homelessness.
• Activate policymakers to center the experiences of LGBTQ youth and youth of color to create equitable policies and practices.
• Establish youth collaboration as an industry standard for youth homelessness work.
• Expand the work of True Colors United internationally, beginning in Europe and Canada.

As they move into their second decade, True Colors United is also expanding their work to help ensure they are preventing and ending homelessness for all disproportionately affected youth, not just those who identify as LGBTQ.

They will continue to partner with young people with lived experience of homelessness to ensure they’re in positions of power to drive change through their ideas, skills and talents so their peers in the future won’t have to experience homelessness.

News Round-Up: November 3, 2017

Some news items you may have missed:

• Woofy Steve Raider (above) wants to know “Who’s your daddy wolf?”

• 40% of America’s homeless youth are LGBT. And to help, AT&T recently launched its Live Proud Holidays campaign to support Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund in their work to end LGBT youth homelessness. Click here to find out how you can support and participate.

• After two appearances on Will & Grace during the show’s initial run, might Cher willingly grace the NBC series one more time?

• 8 House of Cards employees accuse Kevin Spacey of sexual harassment/assault.

• CNN is now looking at putting up a subscription paywall like several major newspapers have done. The New York Times and Washington Post allow ten free articles to be read before being blocked. Wall Street Journal gives you nothing free. Thoughts? Post below.

• Out professional athletes Robbie Rogers (MLS) and Jason Collins (former NBA) share their coming out stories as part of the “One Stride, Many Journeys” series by Barefoot Wine + Out. Watch below.

Cyndi Lauper: We Need To End LGBT Youth Homelessness

Cyndi Lauper pens this essay on LGBT youth homelessness for The Advocate:

It’s an election year and there’s a lot of talk about what our nation’s priorities need to be for the next four to eight years. What we have to make sure is not forgotten is the epidemic of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth homelessness. Up to 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBT, yet fewer than 7 percent of kids nationwide are LGBT. That discrepancy is outrageous, and it’s something we can’t ignore. That’s why, on April 27, 2016, we will raise our voices for #40toNoneDay: a national day organized by the True Colors Fund to raise public awareness about LGBT youth homelessness.

While family rejection is the most commonly cited reason for LGBT youth homelessness, it’s just one piece of the puzzle — a very big puzzle. We need to make sure we’re seeing the whole picture.

People often think that because they don’t work at a homeless shelter, they don’t have a role to play. The reality is: everyone can make a difference! Think of it this way: Kids experiencing homelessness come into contact with more than just the good folks working at shelters. They also go to coffee shops and libraries. They ride the bus. They’re on the Internet. You may interact with them on a regular basis without even realizing it. We all need to put our heads together to make sure these young people can get support wherever they go — and be themselves when they get there.

Right now people all across America are making a difference. A 24-hour diner owner in North Carolina is giving kids a place to stay when they have nowhere else to go. A library in Indiana is letting kids without a permanent address use computers to access lifesaving resources. In Minnesota police officers are using an app developed by the community to help kids find shelters with available beds. There are many more possibilities that have yet to be explored. That’s why we need to keep the conversation going.

Youth are our future, but they’re also our present. We need to make these kids our priority now. If we don’t, where will they be in five, 10, 20 years? Where will our country be? Even if we all agree that ending LGBT youth homelessness needs to be a priority, how can we rise above the noise and make our message heard? Our voices are stronger when we say something together. Last year, #40toNoneDay reached more than 17 million people. How many more can we reach this year?

CYNDI LAUPER is a Tony-, Emmy-, and Grammy-winning writer, actor, and musician. She is also the cofounder of the True Colors Fund, which combats LGBT youth homelessness.

LGBT Activist Scott Wooledge’s #Pizza4Equality Raises $160,000 For Homeless Youth

So, you’re watching the interwebs and you see a pizzeria in Indiana last month announced they won’t cater to a gay couple on their wedding day. Short version of the story – the pizzeria plays victim, and the anti-gay haters across the country serve up over $800,000 in “support” for the pizzeria owners.

$800,000 reward for being anti-gay???

What do you do in that scenario?

Well, I wrote a little missive here on The Randy Report noting how ridiculous it was, and how that money could do something useful like help LGBT kids.

There. I did something.

I post it. I share it with some other activists online.

One, LGBT activist Scott Wooledge (the genius behind tons of internet memes) writes back, “I had a similar idea” and shoots me a link to a web site. A web site he had just built called “#Pizza4Equality.”

A full freaking web site! And this website is a call to action to counter the haters with a campaign to raise money for LGBT homeless teens.

Then, Scott gets on Twitter and he WORKS this. He’s tweeting everyone he can think of. Every celebrity, every activist, everyone he can think of.

Now, I don’t mean raise “some” money for homeless teens. Scott Wooledge rallies thousands of individual donors to raise $160,000 for homeless teens!  In less than a month.

A few weeks later – and many, many hours of hard work – Scott Wooledge is handing pop music icon, LGBT ally and founder of the True Colors Fund, Cyndi Lauper a big, fat check for $160,000.

In the end, Wooledge said, “#Pizza4Equality was just trying to reclaim pizza’s good name by asking folks to donate the cost of a pizza to the True Colors Fund to help LGBTQ homeless youth.”

So, there you have it kids. You can sit and read about what this and that hater did. OR – you can find your own way to make a difference in the world.  Like Scott Wooledge.

You’ll note I keep using his full name. Because I want his full name to be seen and read by folks. Because it should be.

I’m not saying you have to raise $160K to make a difference. The point is: something was done. Something occurred. Something.

And we can all do “something.”

Congrats to Scott and #Pizza4Equality. And to the True Colors Fund.

By the way – the GoFundMe campaign for #Pizza4Equality is open for a few more days if you’d like to drop something in the bucket.  Click here to head over to the donation page.