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Cyndi Lauper on Rash of Anti-LGBTQ+ Bills: 'This Is How Hitler Started'

Cyndi Lauper on Rash of Anti-LGBTQ+ Bills: 'This Is How Hitler Started'

Cyndi Lauper

"You just have to keep fighting for civil rights," Lauper added in a recent interview.

Music legend and staunch LGBTQ+ ally Cyndi Lauper has likened the recent rash of anti-LGBTQ+ and specifically anti-trans legislation to what happened in Germany under Adolf Hitler.

“I believe you don’t stop the fight,” Lauper said when interviewed by The Hill’s In the Know blog at last week’s Gershwin Prize ceremony in Washington, D.C., where Lauper was among the artists helping to honor prize winner Joni Mitchell. “Equality for everybody, or nobody’s really equal. This is how Hitler started, you know, just weeding everybody out.” The Nazi leader persecuted and ordered the deaths of Jews, gay people, Roma people, and more.

Lauper is well known for her activism on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community. Her nonprofit organization, True Colors United, seeks solutions to homelessness among young people, with particular attention to LGBTQ+ youth.

“What we have to make sure is not forgotten is the epidemic of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth homelessness,” she wrote in The Advocate in 2016. “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.”

In 2019, she received the United Nations’ inaugural High Note Global Prize for her activism. The U.N. emphasized her work on behalf of LGBTQ+ youth who are experiencing homelessness.

“They’re only on the street because they’re LGBTQ,” Lauper said at the Home for the Holidays benefit concert, where she received the prize. “This is fixable, with programs and advocacy and safe places where they will not be turned away.”

This year, more than 400 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced in state legislatures across the country, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Of those, 175 focus on restricting the rights of trans people, the most in any year.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea what they’re doing but, you know, you just have to keep fighting for civil rights,” Lauper concluded in her interview with The Hill.

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