Pop superstar Cyndi Lauper says it is time for the straight community to stand up for its gay brothers and sisters.

The singer, who will be performing as part of this year’s Mardi Gras line-up, has a long history of support for the international gay and lesbian community – and it’s not just via lip service.

The front page of Lauper’s website includes links to New York City’s PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

There’s also a link to The Gay American Heroes memorial website honouring the lives of people who have died as a result of hate crimes based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

True to her convictions, last year Lauper initiated PFLAG’s Straight for Equality pledge campaign. Oppression comes in many forms and speaking out, she says, is simply “the right thing to do”.

“I think it’s extremely important for people in the straight community to stand up for people in the gay community just as it was important for men to stand up for women during the women’s movement and for white Americans to stand up for black Americans during the civil rights movement,” Lauper said.

“I have been working for PFLAG for years and they have created this initiative, and I will be working with them again on my True Colors tour this summer, just as I did last year.”

Lauper is up front about her own sexuality, claiming she is not gay but comes from a family and friend network that is.

“I feel at home with my gay fans,” she said. “I am an individual. I wasn’t always accepted by the mainstream as a person or an artist when I was younger.

“I am one of those straight people who live and breathe among gay people. And I do my best to preach inclusion of everyone.”

Lauper will play the State Theatre on 29 February and 1 and 2 March. Tickets: www.ticketmaster.com.au or 136 100. Her new album The Body Acoustic is out now.

From bnews – www.bnews.com.au

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