What a friend we have in Cyndi Lauper. The Emmy, Grammy, and Tony winner has worked tirelessly to advocate for homeless LGBTQ youth, co-founding True Colors United in 2008 to aid her in that mission. It being the season, the singer also gathered some of her musical and comedic friends for her ninth annual Home for the Holidays concert last night, December 10, at The Novo in Los Angeles.
Queer youth are 120% more likely to experience homelessness, and though they only represent about 7% of the youth population in the United States, they account for a disproportionate 40% of the homeless youth population. Lauper has been a passionate voice in the fight to end this completely preventable epidemic. True Colors works to trains communities on LGBTQ inclusion, provide homeless queer youth with leadership development opportunities, and work on federal, state, and local levels to secure funding, policies, and protections for this particularly vulnerable population.
With such an amazing cause as inspiration, a lot of talented folks came out to belt one for the kids at Lauper's event. None other than scary national treasure Marilyn Manson joined her to sing "The Beautiful People," though sadly not the seasonally appropriate Mariah Carey "All I Want for Christmas Is You" mash-up version that's been making the rounds lately.
Later, 2019 breakout and avowed power bottom King Princess took the stage to perform "Hit the Back" and then joined pop tunesmith Justin Tranter for a lovely duet of Lauper's classic "Time After Time."
Comedians Margaret Cho, Carol Leifer, and Gina Yashere had the audience in sapphic stitches while host and True Colors board member Carson Kressley kept the three-hour show moving at a spritely pace. Forever "would" Henry Rollins delivered a powerful, very Rollins-esque screed on the urgency of fighting homelessness among queer youth, and the need to rely on each other and not the government in that fight. Then he and Cyn thrashed about to Black Flag's 1981 anthem "Rise Above."
Kesha was on hand with philanthropist David Clark to present Lauper with the High Note Global Prize from the United Nations Human Rights in recognition of her work with True Colors. Kesha then came home in the middle of the night to find herself in a rousing duet of the immortal "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" with the singer.
And in the spirit of '80s bops that never get tired, Belinda Carlisle showed up to perform "Heaven Is a Place on Earth," now forever linked to the queer masterpiece Black Mirror: San Junipero. Later in the evening, America's sweetheart Billy Porter glided onto the stage to blow everyone away with a rendition of his No. 1 dance hit "Love Yourself," teaming up with his old Kinky Boots pal Lauper, who helped out on backup vocals. Or as Porter put it, "Black up."
"Did she take the top [note]?" Porter asked the other background singers. "She did? That bitch is working hard."
She sure was. Carlisle rejoined Lauper to close the show with, what else, "True Colors." 'Twas a night beautiful like a rainbow.
To find out how you can donate to True Colors United, click here.