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article imageCyndi Lauper Headlines Pride Toronto’s 30th Anniversary Festival

By Bryen Dunn     Mar 4, 2010 in Entertainment
Cyndi Lauper, one of the world’s most recognized queer icons, comes to Toronto on July 3 2010, for a free concert in Queen’s Park. This is the first time Pride Toronto will be using this space for programming.
Pride Toronto are hoping to make their 30th anniversary party one of the biggest in their history. They will host Lauper's free outdoor concert on July 3.
An unwavering advocate for LGBT rights, Cyndi Lauper established herself as a household name with the 1983 single "Girls Just Want To Have Fun", kicking off a long career which includes more than 25 million in record sales and nominations for 13 Grammy awards, two Emmy awards, two American Music Awards, seven American Video Awards and 18 MTV awards.
Her most recent album "Bring Ya To The Brink" affirmed her international pop diva status, even more so amongst her LGBT fans, who were featured prominently in the music video for her #1 single, "Into The Nightlife".
"It's an honor to always have the genuine affection of the gay community," Cyndi says. "They have never turned their back on me and I will never turn my back on them. We've had a long and enduring love affair."
In 2007, Lauper created the True Colors Tour, bringing together artists like Erasure, The B-52s, the Indigo Girls, Deborah Harry and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts to raise public awareness about issues facing the LGBTTIQQ2SA* communities. A year later, she founded the True Colors Fund to inspire and engage everyone—particularly those in the straight community—to become involved in the advancement of equality.
Most recently, Lauper joined Lady Gaga as a spokesperson for the 2010 MAC Viva Glam Campaign, which was established in 1994 to support people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS around the world.
The Grammy award-winning singer and Emmy award-winning actress is currently working on her newest studio album scheduled for release in June. Lauper is also featured on the new “Celebrity Apprentice” edition on NBC starting March 14 and later this year launches her own reality show.
Lauper's performance during Pride Week will be part of a full program of entertainment and activities in Queen's Park; the newest addition to the ever-expanding Pride Week site which includes eight stages over more than 22 city blocks and an attendance of more than one million. Plans for the new Queen's Park site include a beverage garden and more Pride Week Street Fair exhibitors.
About Pride Toronto:
Pride Toronto is the not-for-profit organization that hosts Pride Week, an annual festival held during the last week of June in downtown Toronto. Pride Toronto exists to celebrate the history, courage, diversity and future of Toronto's LGBTTIQQ2SA* communities and is one of the leading cultural events of its kind in the world with a total economic benefit in 2009 of $136 million. Toronto's Pride Week has been named Best Festival in Canada by the Canadian Special Events Industry, is recognized as one of only Eight Signature Events in the city of Toronto, is ranked as one of the TOP 50 festivals in Ontario by Festivals and Events Ontario (FEO) and is the third largest Queer celebration in the world. http://www.pridetoronto.com
The "A" was added to the acronym this year to represent "Allies" of Queers.
In other related news, New York City is poised to gain what may be the world’s first permanent housing facility for homeless GLBT Youth. The True Colors Residence, currently under construction in Harlem, takes its name from singer Cyndi Lauper’s concert series in support of GLBT equality.
A Feb. 24 article posted at Cyndi Lauper News detailed the new facility, which is slated to include 30 apartments, a library and computer room, and community areas.
The residence facility was the idea of Lauper and her manager, Lisa Barbaris, and West End Executive Director Colleen Jackson, who said, "This is a very exciting time for West End." Added Jackson, "After what seems like an eternity, we have finally broken ground and are one step closer to our goal of turning the concept of the True Colors Residence into reality. We extend our sincerest gratitude to all of our funders and collaborators and we send special thanks to Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer for his invaluable support, and to Cyndi Lauper and Lisa Barbaris whose commitment to serving the needs of LGBT youth led to the creation of this residence. "
Said Stringer, who supported marriage equality legislation during his time in the New York Assembly, "West End has provided transitional housing for hundreds of homeless families and individuals over the years. Finding safe, affordable housing is step one for New Yorkers working to build a better life for themselves, and the groundbreaking for True Colors will create a refuge for some of our city’s most at risk young people, specifically the many homeless LGBT youth in our City."
The facility’s construction is being financed through a combination of grants and loans from banks and local government. Citi Bank’s community development division, Citi Community Capital, is one entity that has provided funding. Said Citi Community Capital Vice President William Yates, "We at Citi are thrilled to be financing True Colors. Through both our construction loan and through the permanent equity we are providing, Citi is helping to get the building built and to ensure its long-term affordability. True Colors is a unique effort, and Citi is proud to be a part of it."
Said Lauper, "Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth living on the streets and in foster care need our support more than ever. In New York City, the True Colors Residence is going to play a big role in providing these young people with the leg up and encouragement they need. I am thrilled that construction has already begun and I am honored to be a part of this important project."
The facility’s construction proceeds only months after Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed 25 people to the ranks of the Commission for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Runaway and Homeless Youth. The facility comes at a critical time, with social service budgets being cut across the board.
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