I’ve recently been on an 80’s music binge, and came across Cyndi Lauper’s soothing hit song. This is the song I needed to hear amidst all of the chaos and pain raging throughout our world right now, especially with COVID-19 still ravaging our communities.

Lyrics courtesy of AZLyrics

You with the sad eyes
Don’t be discouraged
Oh I realize
It’s hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small

But I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow

Show me a smile then
Don’t be unhappy, can’t remember
When I last saw you laughing
If this world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I’ll be there

And I’ll see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow

[Whisper:] Can’t remember, when I last saw you laughing

If this world makes you crazy
And you’ve taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I’ll be there

And I’ll see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors
True colors are shining through

I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful
Like a rainbow

This beautiful song has been covered a number of times, by artists such as Phil Collins.

This song was also covered by Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick for the Trolls movie.

“True Colors” was also covered by the Mexican pop band Jotdog, called “Colores”. This was actually the incarnation that first introduced me to the tune. When I heard “True Colors” playing in the grocery store, I thought the singer was covering “Colores” instead of the other way around!

Cyndi Lauper and LGBTQ Activism

Imagine my pleasant surprise when I found out that Miss Lauper has been a longstanding ally of this community! She’s the co-founder of the True Colors United activist group, which works to bring awareness to the ever-present issue of LGBTQ youth homelessness. 

I read in this interview with Miss Lauper that her passion for activism was largely inspired by the life and death of her close gay friend Gregory, who died of AIDS in 1985. Remembering that his parents kicked him out of their home when he was only 12 has been a likely reason why she’s so determined to bring attention to other LGBTQ youth facing the same maltreatment across the country. 

As a young gay man myself, I’m extremely grateful to have somebody with such a powerful voice fighting for us.