In sixth grade, I heard about this new up-and-coming artist, Halsey. She embraced her sexuality, wrote meaningful songs, and created a narrative that I didn’t know was allowed. She was touring and actually went to my city, but again, I was in sixth grade. 

Of course I was bummed I couldn’t go, but that didn’t stop me from listening to her music and learning more about her. I was, quite frankly, a full-on fan girl. She started to get more political as I was exiting middle school, and she helped shape a lot of the values I have today by raising awareness about various things, climate change, feminism, and the #MeToo movement. 

I specifically remember her speech at the women’s march in Washington DC. It was a poem that has given me something to live by. Her raw honesty and vigor told me that I can stand up for what I believe in, and I can stand up for myself. Or the jacket that she wore at the Nobel Prize Ceremony. On the back painted on was the ratio 20:1. For every twenty male receivers of a Nobel Prize, there is only one female recipient. Her boldness in calling attention to this inequality and many others is inspiring. 

When I finally saw Halsey in 2017, I knew she was the artist I could support for the rest of my life. Not only is she amazingly talented, but a role model for young people. She has touched my life and I can’t wait to see her again this summer.