Showing posts with label Give a Damn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Give a Damn. Show all posts

Friday, November 19, 2010

Give a Damn about homeless gay youth

The Give a Damn Campaign, a project of Cyndi Lauper's True Colors Fund, has released its latest video during National Runaway Prevention Month to raise awareness about homeless gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth. Susan Sarandon, Alan Cumming, Rebecca Romijn, Pete Wentz, Eden Riegel and Cyndi Lauper speak up about the need to bring an end to this epidemic.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Give a Damn about hate crimes

The Give a Damn Campaign, a project of Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund, has released its newest public service announcement focusing on hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The PSA saw its world premiere last night on CNN’s Larry King Live during an episode featuring the topic of anti-gay bullying.

In the U.S. one hate crime takes place approximately every hour of every single day. In 2008, the most recent year in which such data is available, 7,783 incidents of hate crime were reported to the FBI.1 out of every 6 of these hate crimes is committed on the basis of sexual orientation.

Gay men and lesbians are the third most targeted group for hate crimes of the ones that are actually reported. It is widely believed that these numbers are significantly higher, as victims of hate crimes based on sexual orientation are afraid to report the crime to authorities.

“We as parents, as people, as a nation need to stand up and say enough is enough. We will not tolerate hate any longer,” said Cyndi Lauper. “Hate is learned and we need to teach our children that being different is okay. The best way we can do that is to lead by example and treat others with dignity and respect. No one should ever be bullied or harmed in any way because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, race, religion, ethnicity or anything that someone labels another as 'different.' Hate is a lose lose situation and its time that things final change.”

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

True colors keep shining through: A conversation with Cyndi Lauper

Music legend and gay icon Cyndi Lauper will be in Denver tomorrow night at the Paramount Theatre. Her most recent album 'Memphis Blues' has spent 12 weeks at the top of the Blues Album Chart.

I was lucky enough to catch up with her recently to talk about her upcoming reality show and autobiography, fighting for gay rights with her True Colors Fund and the Give A Damn Campaign, her thoughts on Lady Gaga, and when we can expect the return of the fabulous True Colors Tour.

Drew: Congratulations on the success of 'Memphis Blues.' You've been putting out a lot of interestingly themed albums in the past few years - blues, acoustic, electronic, standards. What musical styles or influences are left that you would like to explore?
Cyndi: Who knows what I will be doing next? I still have tons up my sleeves. Guess you will just have to wait and see what’s next!

Which of your albums is your personal favorite? How about a favorite song?
Just one? That’s going to be too tough. Because it changes from time to time.

The Give a Damn Campaign, which is a project of your True Colors Fund, is aimed at straight people who are interested in GLBT rights. What would you say are the two or three most important things straight people should know about GLBT rights?
Cyndi: There is so much that people need to know, which is why we created the Give a Damn Campaign. We wanted to create something that took all of the mountains of information out there and break it down to the basics so it was not so overwhelming. There are a ton of facts and information about the many forms of discrimination against gay people that straight people need to know about and can find at But, the most important thing that straight people need to know is that when one group of people's freedom is put up for grabs it means that it could be your group or the group of people that someone you love belongs to that could be next. Either we all are equal or no one is. I would also say that all of us in any majority have a responsibility to stand up as human beings for the minority, to stand up for the underdog. That to me is what being an American is all about.

What do you think gay people can do to enlist more straight people as allies?
The most important thing is to let the straight people in your life - your family, friends, co-workers - know who you are. Share your life with them. Let them know what being a part if a minority feels like, what being discriminated against does to a person. Open up to the people you share a personal connection with, that is the most powerful and meaningful way you can hopefully change people's minds or get people who support equality to get involved for the first time. Same goes for straight people, talk about why your support equality with the other straight people in your life. Lead by example.

You've worked with Lady Gaga on recent projects and she's cited you as an artistic inspiration. What are your thoughts on her as an artist and as a GLBT activist as it pertains to her recent work to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell?
There is no one quite like Gaga. She is definitely one of the hardest working girls out there. I adore her. I am blown away by her performances, everything from the energy to her passion on stage. Working together on the MAC Viva Glam campaign and talking about HIV/AIDS prevention for women has been really important to the both of us. We have a lot in common and have become friends through the work we are doing together. I admire her for the recent work to repeal DADT. Good for her. I always feel that if you are famous it's good to use your fame to help others. Give a voice to a cause that needs it. Its payback and it's the right thing to do.

I hear you're working on an autobiography. What will it be called and why write it now?
I am writing an autobiography that will be released via Simon & Schuster in late 2011. I am in the middle of writing right now so ask me this question again next time we chat!

What is that process of writing an autobiography like and can you give us any hints about the juiciest bits or most interesting chapters?
Its a bit like therapy. I am working with a great writer named Jancee Dunn, who was a writer for Rolling Stone -where we first met - and has gone on to write some really great books. As for the process, we spend time together, I write her long emails, we get together to talk, I write some more to send to her, she sends it back. It's focused on my life from the age of seventeen when I left home for the first time.

You were a huge hit on 'Celebrity Apprentice'. What was the experience like for you?
I had a blast on the show. I wanted to play for the True Colors Fund and knew so many people watch the show that it could really help me push the mission of the fund forward. If I had to do it all over again I would so I could raise even more money for the True Colors fund and have another chance to talk about civil rights and the gay community.

I hear you have your own reality show in the works. What's it going to be like?
Yes, I did a deal with Mark Burnett Productions before I signed on to 'Celebrity Apprentice'. Mark Burnett is probably the most successful producers of Reality TV so I am really happy to be in partnership with them The folks there are smart and creative and I think it's going to be a lot of fun to do. I love the medium so I'm excited about it. It is going to mostly be about me and my day to day life as I focus on my career. We start filming in January.

Are you a fan of any other reality shows? Who's your favorite castmember of 'Jersey Shore'?
Yes, of any of Mark Burnett's shows, of course! Which is pretty much all of them on TV right now. As for 'Jersey Shore', I don’t know too much about it. Been touring and working so hard, I don’t have much time to just sit back and relax.

The True Colors Tour's Red Rocks shows were some of the best I've ever been to. Can we expect another True Colors Tour in 2011?
Of course we will do True Colors in 2011! This year I wanted to focus on 'Memphis Blues' and bring it on the road. That's the main reason for not having a True Colors Tour this year. The other reason is that the economy is still pretty bad and a lot of folks just don't have the money for those big ticket festival shows. The more acts on the bill, the more the ticket has to cost. But we do want to do it in 2011. We are going to do a three-day festival in NYC and take it out on the road as well. Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Giva a Damn Campaign releases new video for National Suicide Prevention Month

The Give a Damn Campaign, a project of Cyndi Lauper's True Colors Fund, has released its latest video during National Suicide Prevention Month to shine a light on the higher risk of suicide for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth. Lily Tomlin, Judith Light, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Mae Whitman speak out about this crisis in this month’s video, part of the campaign's ongoing series of public service announcements.

Many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth struggle to come to terms with their sexual orientation or gender identity, while also seeking the acceptance of their family and friends. Unfortunately, too often they end up feeling so alone and rejected that ending their life seems like their only option to deal with what they are going through.

Suicide is already the third-leading cause of death for young people ages 10 to 24, and it turns out that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth are actually 4 times more likely to attempt it than their straight peers. More than 1 in 3 gay and transgender teens have attempted suicide.

“Rejection by one’s parents, one's family and one's community has to be one of the most painful and lonely experiences any person can be subjected to. So deep is the hurt that it causes these kids to think suicide is an option,” said Cyndi Lauper. “We can’t let this continue. We have to help our children and friends accept themselves. We have to make sure that they know that they are loved and that they are not alone."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Give A Damn about gay workplace discrimination

The newest Give A Damn campaign video focuses on workplace discrimination against gay and transgender people and features Whoopi Goldberg (her stances on issues can be pretty iffy but she's on the right side of this one), Piper Perabo, and cutie Brad Goreski (below) of 'The Rachel Zoe Project'.

The Give a Damn Campaign, a project of Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund, is a bold, web-based initiative with the goal of educating and engaging the straight community in the advancement of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Give A Damn Campaing releases parenting PSA featuring Cynthia Nixon and Sharon Osbourne

The Give a Damn Campaign released their most recent video PSA to highlight the discrimination that the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community continues to face. Cynthia Nixon, Sharon Osbourne and Karolína Kurková talk about why they give a damn about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender parents and their kids. These three moms are joined by a father and a grandmother to call attention to the discrimination that families headed by gay parents face each and every day in this country.

Many mainstream child health and social service organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, Child Welfare League of America and National Association of Social Workers, have gone on record to support adoption by qualified lesbian and gay parents. Unfortunately, many road blocks remain in place, including three states that have blanket bans prohibiting any lesbian or gay couple from adopting. In many states, the parenting law for gay and transgender people is still unclear.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Cyndi Lauper Gives a Damn about gay rights

The Give a Damn Campaign is for everybody who cares about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality.

But, it’s especially for all the straight people out there! Whether you’re already an active supporter, want to show your support for the first time, or hadn’t given equality a lot of thought before and now want to learn more, the Give a Damn Campaign here to help you get informed about the issues and get involved, at a pace that works for you.