The phrase "gay icon" gets tossed around a lot, but why is it that some figures amass more of a gay audience? Welcome to Gay Iconography, a feature where we present a proposed iconic figure or character and then ask you to weigh in with your thoughts.
In February 2013, Cyndi Lauper told the Huffington Post "One of my friends … she said 'Well, you should be a gay icon.' So then I did it, and I started to see discrepancies and things that weren't right, and I didn't want to just shut my mouth, because I don't believe in that."
She makes it sound so easy.
Among those considered to be gay icons, few embody as much of the grit, style and talent as Cyndi.
Her career spans more than four decades, earning her Grammy, Emmy and Tony Awards, (among others). With a four-octave range and perfect pitch, Lauper's unmistakable voice has graced some of the most memorable songs of the 20th century. Throughout her career, she's not only left an indelible mark on pop music with more than 40 singles, but she's been an incredibly vocal ally of the gay community.
"Your civil liberties are my civil liberties," she said in an About.com interview. "I have had many experiences and I'm lucky to have the platform that I do. I want to use it not only to make great music, but make change."
Inspired by her lesbian sister, Lauper has written several songs about gay issues, partnered with organizations like Human Rights Campaign, PFLAG and the Matthew Shepherd Foundation, and she's appeared at various pride events (including serving as Grand Marshall of the New York City Gay Pride Parade in 2012).
She has made her gay advocacy known on soap operas like As The World Turns and reality shows like MTV's Made.
She also started the True Colors Fund, which advocates for runaway and homeless LGBT youth, a cause she continually and tirelessly champions with campaigns like the Forty to None Project to educate the public and "Home for the Holidays" benefit concerts.
Celebrate Cyndi with some of our favorite clips, AFTER THE JUMP ...