Halsey's Kingdom Creates A Safe Space For All

Halsey's Kingdom Creates A Safe Space For All

These are the moments and events that I cherish while using them to remind myself that there is a whole community dedicated to spreading love and acceptance.

Within the last five years, many people within the spotlight have come forward to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community; many have even come out and shared their own stories.

As the support and love continue to increase, safe spaces are beginning to form. A safe space, according to Google, is where “people can feel confident that they will not be exposed to discrimination, criticism, harassment, or any other emotional or physical harm.”

Musicians, especially, are using their concerts as a place where this type of environment can be established; individuals within the crowd can be themselves and exist without the fear of harsh judgment. These spaces, that are filled with encouragement and endless love, are a rare occurrence in today’s society.

Halsey is one artist that has always succeeded in creating safe spaces for all individuals; an atmosphere in which diversity is embraced and safety is a priority.

She’s both a member and major ally of the LGBTQ+ community which is evident in her music, creative visuals, and even her social media presence. Halsey isn’t afraid to stand up to individuals who try to demonize her for loving and encouraging this community; she shuts them down every time. She’s one of the many fearless performers who use their platform to educate others and show LGBTQ+ youth that their identities are valid.

Halsey has now taken this message and her safe space on the road.

She is currently on the first installment of her Hopeless Fountain Kingdom Tour and I got to attended her Austin, Texas show on October 27th. I have been a huge fan of hers for a few years and so, naturally, I was ready to lose my voice from screaming every song.

Going in, I already knew what to expect: an incredible concert surrounded by beautiful people. But what I experienced was more than I could’ve ever imagined, as cliche as it may sound. The overall atmosphere was energetic throughout the show and I could feel the love within the venue; whether it was the love of life, another person, or self-love. The emotional aspect of this show escalated right before her song, “Strangers,” featuring Lauren Jauregui from Fifth Harmony.

Halsey asked the crowd, “Who’s a member of the LGBT community? Who’s a proud friend or family member?”

The venue erupted into excited heart-felt screams. She continued by stating, “This is a safe place; this tour was created for you.” As she said this, I felt chills all over my body; I was taken aback by the realization that I genuinely was in a safe space.

As a member of the LGBTQ+ community myself, I felt comfortable which is a rare feeling.

I was attending the show with my girlfriend and for once I wasn’t scared to kiss her cheek or put my arm around her; I knew that if someone were to spew their hate at us that there would be ten times as many people ready to defend us. This feeling of comfort made the concert one of the most magical nights I have ever experienced.

These are the moments and events that I cherish while using them to remind myself that there is a whole community dedicated to spreading love and acceptance.

The importance of safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth is essential in today’s society. With the current political climate and the increase in social hate and prejudice, finding a place to fearlessly express yourself without fear of judgment is hard to come by.

Events and places where people can bond over the topic at hand, whether it be music, movie or a support group, aids in creating community. Music and various art forms have always been a tool to cope with situations and an avenue of escape for most people.

Moments of comfort and safety will be a daily reality in the future for LGBTQ+ individuals through the resilience of the community and the messages of acceptance that they continue to spread.

Cover Image Credit: Kristin Roman

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The Realness And The Rubbish

What reality TV offers its audience

I watch a lot of reality TV.

Most people’s immediate mental image when reality TV is brought up is mind-numbing Kardashian Jersey Bachelor Teenage Pregnancy cultural slime that is dumbing America down one “unscripted” episode at a time. I share this same disdain towards a lot of the shows that dominate Bravo, MTV, and ABC (especially the white hetero-pile of toxic sludge that is “The Bachelor”) but with a lot of these shows I find myself unapologetically, sometimes regretfully sucked in.

Our modern concept of “reality television” didn’t really exist in America until 1992 when people stopped being polite and started getting real on “The Real World” where seven strangers were picked to live in a loft in New York City: today, 25 years later, it is inescapable. In my twenty years of experience consuming media I have learned that reality TV is one of the easiest ways to connect with people. In the fifth grade I remember discussing “American Idol” with my science teacher and my classmates like it was a religion. In junior high “The Glee Project” capitalized off of adolescents’ obsession with Finn Hudson and high school glee clubs. Today, on “Bachelor” nights groups of girls congregate in dorm common spaces with TVs across my university’s campus. In my own world “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is practically the fabric of mine and other fanatics’ lives. The day after a queen is eliminated I am either in mourning or praying for my favorite’s numbered days in the competition. I remember when I was young there was a cartoon called “Total Drama Island” that was a faux-reality parody of shows like “Survivor” that my friends and I were absolutely obsessed with. I’m still traumatized by the memory of my parents telling me I couldn’t watch anymore because it was too mature for my age.

These reality shows (one merely a parody of reality) have quietly (or not so quietly) influenced me and Americans for years and I’m trying to work through the thoughts surrounding this controversial subject. Many agree that reality TV is frivolous, fluff, lacking any real substance. It’s where the thin, the white, and the heterosexual go to drink, debauch, and embarrass themselves with each ridiculous fight. Most of the TV shows we know have been proven to be fake, unreal, tearing down the edifice that reality TV has built up.

But I love it.

I can’t get enough of it.

Most of the TV I watch and actually keep up with is reality, past and current. The more I watch of it, I realize that a lot of it is filth. So unimportant, so uninspiring, so unartistic, but I can’t stop watching. I’ve realized, though, that it’s because reality TV isn’t a sprint, but a marathon. There’s so much of it that you have to sift through to find the gems worth your attention. In a normal TV show there’s only so much room for boring air time, footage without purpose; everything is deliberate, while reality isn’t supposed to be. Real life isn’t exciting 24/7: it can get messy, it can often seem pointless. But you need to sit through most of it to get to the good stuff, just like with reality TV.

How many episodes of “The Hills” did I have to sit through to get to that single, mascaraed tear that falls down Lauren Conrad’s cheek (“You know why I’m mad at you, you know what you did!”)? Countless seasons of “The Real World” were watched to see that guy slap Irene in Seattle after she outted him. Kim K losing her diamond earring in the ocean and crying has reached peak memedom (“Kim, there’s people that are dying.”) The night Taylor Hicks snatched the crown off of American sweetheart Katharine McPhee’s precious head on “American Idol” would go down in history as The Day the Music Died. And then there’s that guy from “Survivor” who lied about his freaking grandmother dying just to not get voted off the island.

So, I’d like to validate the hours I spend watching twenty somethings get into yet another drunken fight or the parents with way too many children or a Hilton sister milk a cow with the thought that I am waiting. Waiting for that culturally defining moment that I’ll have seen first hand and not after being recycled into a tweet or a meme.

I also hold out hope that these shows are actually real, or at least hold onto some thin shred of reality. I’d like to think that in the finale of “The Hills” when the camera pans away from Brody Jenner to reveal a soundstage, implying that none of the past six seasons were actually real, that this was just an artistic choice, not telling of the actual scriptedness of the show. We’ll never know for sure whether “Laguna Beach” was the real Orange County or just the fake one, so for now all I can do is hope.

Cover Image Credit: unspalsh

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6 Comments You're Sick Of Hearing If You Wear Glasses

Yes I can count the number of fingers you're holding up

I've been wearing glasses for as long as I can remember. In fact, I still have my first pair of little purple glasses sitting in the top drawer of my dresser back home. Being as visually impaired as I am, you can bet I've heard all of the jokes and have been asked all of the questions. These are a few of the comments that people who wear glasses and contacts are sick of hearing.

1. "How many fingers am I holding up?"

Without my glasses, your fingers might be a bit blurry, but that doesn't mean I've lost the ability to count. I can still make out the outlines of the two fingers you're holding.

2. "How bad are your eyes?"

Bad enough that I have to have corrective lenses! My prescription doesn't even make sense to me, how is it going to make sense to you?

3. "Are those glasses real?"

Yeah they're real! I don't go to Claire's and buy frames for fashion or steal the 3D glasses from the movies and pop the lens out of them. I need these for sight, Karen!

4. "Do your contacts hurt to put in/take out/wear?"

They don't hurt once they're in my eye and if they do, that means they're scratched or old and I should probably throw them away. For the most part, they're great until a speck of dust or eyelash gets in my eye. Then, and only then, do my eyes feel like they're legitimately on fire.

5. "Why do your glasses fog up so much?"

This is why I never wear glasses in the winter. The lenses fog when you go from a really cold place into a heated building and water condenses. The result is me looking like Chandler up there: confused and blind.

6. "Are you near or far sighted?"

I honestly couldn't tell you. All I know is my eyes are messed up beyond repair and I need glasses for the rest of my life.

Cover Image Credit: goodfreephotos.com

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