Hey, sweet kittens. I want each and every one of you to close your gorgeous, tired, Friday-laden eyes. Take a brief moment to silently muster up all of the positive, loving energy you have lurking beneath that (understandably) thick layer of angst stewing inside of you, and send the good feels to the queer goddesses up above (Sorry I’ve been in California and I’m feeling nauseatingly spiritual. I know. I hate me too). Thank them. For they brought us the amazing force of bisexual nature, that is Halsey. That’s right. And, today (September, 29th, 2017) is her 23rd birthday bitches.
And I wanted to take a second out of my editing-heavy day, to personally pen a little ode, to this amazing young entity who is not always acknowledged or recognized as the amazing, superstar member of the LGBTQ+ community that she is.
Which is really shitty, because, ~Halsey~ has been unapologetic and open about her bisexuality from the jump. Never once did she let the patriarchal-driven pressures of the music industry, stop her from being out and proud.
Not only is she outspoken about her sexuality in a world where bi-erasure exists in both the hetero mainstream culture and the gay underworld, she’s also open about the one thing no one ever wants to address: The big MI. As in mental illness, girl.
Halsey has candidly discussed being bipolar many times, which I, as someone who also climbs the uphill battle of mental illness every single day of my life, find to be wildly empowering. Mental illness is still so painfully stigmatized in our culture, even in the queer scene. The other week I was hanging around a group of lesbians I don’t know very well. Somehow (blame the champagne, dahling) I brought up my mental illness (as I’m wont to do when buzzed).
“Don’t call it MENTAL ILLNESS!” A loud lesbian roared at me, her cigarette smoke circling demonically around her head.
I blinked three times and reapplied my lip gloss. “Why?”
“It’s an ugly word. Call it mental health.” She ordered slugging back her beer, leaving me, my champagne and my mental illness scratching in the dust of her anger.
Um, thanks but no thanks, stranger! Mental health is doing yoga and eating organic and cutting out the toxic people in your life. Mental illness is a disease that needs to be professionally treated. And the only reason people think it’s an “ugly” word is because no one ever wants to talk about it. And harboring secrets is like throwing fuel on top of the fiery flames of shame. And one day that house will burn the fuck down.
But our girl Halsey doesn’t let the judgment of anyone, stop her from speaking her gorgeous mind! She talks about race. She talks about sex. She talks about mental illness. And her openness shows the kids in the world, that yes, you can be a fiercely talented, hyper-successful girl, who also deals with mental illness, who also is open about her sexual orientation, who also discusses race. In a world that likes to compartmentalize people (in particular girls) into tidy little labels, Halsey doesn’t just break through the glass ceiling, she flies like a graceful Pheonix right out of it. One day she’s rocking the long blue wig and the lashes for days. The next day she’s shaved her head and is wearing beat-up sneakers. And hey! That’s majorly awesome. She’s multifaceted and unafraid to present herself as a complex woman.
So happy birthday Halsey, baby. Your music sounds like what my feelings feel like, if that makes sense? Your bold authenticity stops me from apologizing for who I am when I’m being trolled on the internet by mean men and controlling women, who want me to either shut the fuck up or cram me into a stifling box. Keep doing you. Because the more you do you, the more we feel free to do us.