In 2019 (remember 2019? I don’t), the United Nations created a new prize known as the High Note Global Prize. Its first recipient is one of my idols, and I’d like to write about her charity work today.
True Colors United was founded by Lauper in 2008 to try to bring an end to LGBTQ+ youth homelessness. Lauper, always a gay icon, recognized that many at-risk gay youth became runaways when their families rejected them. In fact, although LGBTQ+ people only represent about 10% of the overall population, queer and trans teens make up about 40% of all homeless youth in America. Lauper resolved to use advocacy, training, education, technical assistance programs, and collaborations with affected young people to create solutions that acknowledge and focus on the unique experiences of LGBTQ+ youth. Her efforts have met with marked success.
David Clark founded the UN’s High Note Global Initiative. Clark said that Lauper deserves the award because of her long-time commitment to promoting human rights, calling her “a voice and active participant for change who has inspired people around the world to be tolerant and true to themselves.”