It’s no secret that I’m not a huge fan of the singer Halsey.
I considered joining her fandom a few short months after the release of her debut album “Badlands” in 2015.
The album by itself is probably one of my favorite works from a female alternative artist but I quickly determined that I could never be a Halsey “stan” because I truly can’t stand Halsey.
Every interview or tweet or basic interaction I’ve observed from the artist either is incredibly dramatic, cringey or simply embarrassing and I find Halsey to be very over-the-top for my taste.
From her performances and appearances and certain lyrics, I find everything about the pop star to be insincere.
It is for this reason that when I came across a video on Twitter of the artist’s speech at the Women’s March in New York City on Saturday, I quickly scrolled past the post because I decided that I just couldn’t deal with another dramatic Halsey moment.
However, the post kept popping up on Twitter and Instagram and even made its way to Facebook so I figured I’d give the video a watch to see what all the hype was about.
Halsey’s Women’s March speech was actually not a speech, but rather a poem.
The singer claimed that she didn’t know how to do a speech unless it rhymed so she wrote this piece titled “A Story Like Mine” to get her message across.
By the time the five-minute long video of the poem was finished, I had tears streaming down my face.
I was crying sincere tears because of Halsey – something I never thought possible or something that I would proudly admit.
But it was impossible for me to not get emotional due to the sincerity and relatability coming from this artist that I never really considered genuine.
The poem details various points of the singer’s life where she and the people close to her were sexually abused by men.
At the beginning of the poem the timeline is set early on when Halsey was a child and transitions to her years as a young teen.
There is a point in the poem where the singer references her current life with lines like, “It’s 2017 and I live like a queen, and I’ve followed damn near every one of my dreams.”
For a second you think that the poem is going to end on a good note, adopting the whole “it gets better” storyline and that with the singer’s success she’s gained confidence and protection.
The poem takes a turn though as Halsey details a case of abuse she faced last year despite her current success and fame.
This narrative is so powerful because it shows that it really can happen to anyone.
It can happen to award-winning recording artists, Hollywood movie stars and Olympic athletes.
It can happen to women of color, women of different religions, women who are cis, women who are trans, women living in poverty and women in positions of power.
It can happen to any of us, but that doesn’t mean that it should or that it will continue.
Halsey’s speech ended on a powerful promise of hope and encouragement to never give up the fight.
It’s because of stories like Halsey’s that over a million women took to their cities’ streets over the weekend to march for equality. It’s because of stories like this that my friends and I marched on Erie’s Perry Square Sunday afternoon.
And like Halsey herself said, it’s stories like this that, “Remind me this is the beginning, it is not the finale, and that’s why we’re here, and that’s why we rally.”