Music, Pop Culture

Stop calling Halsey #tribi – in fact, don’t ever call anyone that

Whether you dig her music and public persona or not - leave her sexuality alone.

Although the New Jersey-born singer initially came up with the term in reference to her being biracial, bisexual, and bipolar, she has since distanced herself from it and earlier this week opened up about how much she hates it. I guess that this might be a lesson for us all – a cautionary tale, if you will – about the permanence of the things we say and do in the age of the internet. Thanks to the archival matrix of the world wide web, what we’ve done, what we’ve said, are much more likely to stick around forever and come back around to haunt us (she writes as she feels the chill of fear run down her spine).

I guess that this might be a lesson for us all about the permanence of the things we say and do in the age of the internet. Click To Tweet

It’s important not to trivialize these things for so many reasons. Admirably, Halsey recognizes and acknowledges that she has white-passing privilege – but that doesn’t negate her experience as a biracial person. I think it’s important to note that she acknowledges that because it’s a solid lesson in intersectionality and how it plays out in our identities.

stahp it.
she has white-passing privilege - but that doesn't negate her experience as a biracial person Click To Tweet

It’s important not to trivialize mental illness because it is so often invisible – but the obstacles it presents for people living with it are daily and frequently monumental struggles. It’s great to have more public figures opening up about their own mental health and how it affects their lives – it gives voice to these issues from individuals who are highly visible and often highly regarded by the general public, so it goes some way toward destigmatizing mental illness and what life is like with them.

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careful now!

In her track “Gasoline” off her Badlands (2015) release she sings, “I think there’s a flaw in my code.” For anyone who has ever struggled with any mental illness, those lyrics ring all too true. We really cannot afford to take any steps backward in this realm since people die from it every day in silence.

have you tried trivializing mental illness today? it’s sooooo fun!
It's important not to trivialize mental illness because it is so often invisible Click To Tweet

It’s important not to trivialize bisexuality since bisexual folks often are met with resistance in both straight and gay communities. They can be mocked and told they aren’t welcome at Pride events. They are marginalized by people telling them they ‘just can’t make up their mind,’ or, if they ever settle into a long-term partnership with someone of the opposite gender, that they were really straight all along.

Conversely, they’ll be told that they were really gay all along if they end up with a partner of the same gender. They don’t lose bisexuality just because of things like that and they aren’t just claiming it to get attention. It’s who they are. Deal.

bleeerrrgh

As with any celebrity, there will be plenty of dreck flung in their direction – I guess what’s kind of fascinating to me about this is that it’s not just coming from her detractors but from her fans as well.

Maybe they don’t realize yet the harmful nature of a flippant hashtag about intersectionality, but I’m not really down for it.

 

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Carly Haufe

Carly Haufe

Carly Haufe is a native of Michigan. She graduated from Case Western Reserve University in 2015 with a MA in Philosophy and Literature. She loves dancing and art, and is superb at giving hugs and yelling. People say she's intimidating, but she's not sure what that means.

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