Cyndi Lauper – True Colors

Released in 1986, True Colors has become an iconic song, just as Cyndi Lauper has become a gay icon, and deservedly so.  When it first came out, it didn’t take long for members of the gay community to adopt it as an anthem, and has since given its name to the True Colors Tour, which Cyndi herself launched in 2007, an initiative which has benefited many LGBT organisations and provided an additional focus on key issues affecting us as a community.

Friends, family, plus the community is a lot of people and together, we make a very loud sound; and I believe that people don’t know the facts. They don’t know that you can be fired from your job in 33 states if you’re gay and lesbian and transgender and bisexual. They don’t know that the hate crime bill does not extend to everyone…Education is so important. So that’s what we are trying to do – in a fun, loving way.

Dusty Springfield – You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me

It didn’t take long to choose a track which sums up why Dusty Springfield is a gay icon. This song was released in 1966, a year before homosexuality was made legal in the United Kingdom, and it eloquently describes the limits of the clandestine romantic life of many gay men during that era. Her songs often made subtle references to a sexual and emotional life which went beyond the conventions of the time, and her make-up, bleached hair and glamorous image made her a hit with gay audiences.

It’s worth noting that Dusty remains one of the great voices of 20th Century popular music, and most of her performances haven’t dated.