This summer I was fortunate enough to see three wonderful artists in concert!

These shows were amazing because not only are these artists just great performers, but they are also members of the LGBTQ+ Community. I saw Sam Smith at the beginning of July and Hayley Kiyoko opened up for Panic! At The Disco at the end of July.

I remember walking through the doors of both shows and seeing my first Pride flag. And then I saw another and another. Automatically I knew I was surrounded by some amazing people who were very similar to me. I saw so many queer fans at these shows and it was so comforting.

Then, during each concert, each artist had a song that addressed the LGBTQ+ community. For Sam Smith it was his song "HIM" from his latest album, for Hayley Kiyoko it was "Girls Like Girls" and for P!ATD it was "Girls/Girls/Boys." During these songs, there was a rainbow everywhere and I loved every second of it. The artists were waving pride flags and fans were waving theirs, people were singing and dancing, and I felt such love, happiness, and acceptance.

Besides going to Pride Parades, I have never felt so comfortable in my identity than I did at those concerts. It was so awesome to be surrounded by accepting people who believed in love and equality as I did. It was also so comforting to see famous people be openly proud of their identity and who they are. And not only that but each artist encouraged everyone in the audience to do the same.

This showed me how much representation matters when it comes to media and Hollywood. Whether it's seeing LGBTQ+ actors and musicians be successful, hearing a song you can relate to as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, seeing a transgender person or a gay couple on TV, or just seeing famous people stand up for equal rights can mean so much to LGBTQ+ youth. It gives us hope and makes us feel less alone. It also brings LGBTQ+ youth together in one shared, safe space and lets us all enjoy a common interest while celebrating our identities.

So thank you Sam Smith, Hayley Kiyoko, and Panic! At The Disco (Brendon Urie) for a great show and for reminding me that there is so much beauty in my identity!