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Halsey Should Be the Speaker at Every Damn Function She Chooses

While being honoured as an endometriosis spokesperson on Monday, she spoke honestly about her experience of living with the painful condition.

by Lauren O'Neill
21 March 2018, 11:11am

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It seems that following her rousing, confessional speech at the New York City Women's March back in January, Halsey has become an in-demand public speaker. At this year's annual Endometriosis Foundation of America Blossom Ball, Halsey was honoured with the Blossom award, which is given to someone who has been a public spokesperson for endometriosis and reproductive health for people with uteruses. In her capacity as the award recipient, Halsey was invited to speak at the ceremony, and acknowledged her new status as a serial speech-giver: "I gave a speech a couple months ago at the Women's March, which means I'm the speech girl now," she joked.

Looking on the verge of tears throughout her ten minutes on stage, Halsey described her own personal journey towards being diagnosed with endometriosis – a common, but under-diagnosed condition where tissue in other parts of the body break down and bleed, as though imitating the lining of the uterus when someone's on their period. It's horribly painful and often vastly understood by medical professionals (or downplayed as "just bad period pains"). So in her speech in particular, Harley discussed the event that led directly to her diagnoses. At 20, before playing at a VEVO showcase in Chicago, she suffered a miscarriage, and then got up to perform anyway: "I took a Percocet, and I put on an adult incontinence diaper, and I wore a long T-shirt that would cover it, and I got onstage and I performed in front of about 1,200 screaming teenage girls."

And while she acknowledges that for people with uteruses, "part of dealing with reproductive health is being treated like you're not a human," Halsey shouts out organisations such as Planned Parenthood, and also advocates for greater discussion of conditions like endometriosis, signalling that with some work, things will improve. She notes that she herself "told my fans what I was going through," which then led to young people receiving diagnoses that they may not have otherwise.

It's a powerful ten minutes, and Halsey's presence and plain-speaking only serve to highlight a crucial and under-spotlighted cause that affects millions worldwide. Watch the full speech above.

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