When Halsey, 23, accepted The Blossom Award at the 2018 Blossom Ball in NYC last night, she didn't hold back in her 10-minute-long acceptance speech. The singer tearfully detailed her endometriosis journey and revealed that the miscarriage she described during her viral women's march speech in January, directly led to her endometriosis diagnosis. She also confided that she is feeling much better after having a series of endometriosis procedures in January 2017. The heartfelt moment was enough to move her boyfriend, rapper G-Eazy, to tears as the audience of 400 gave Halsey a standing ovation.
Read Halsey's emotional speech here:
"Well, as you guys obviously heard from Subrata De and Dr. Sandra Gelbard, I gave a speech a couple of months ago at the women’s march which means I am the speech girl now, so I hope you weren’t expecting something too eloquent because I am winging this one as it is very close to my heart. When I was 20 years old, I was just starting out as a musician and I was in the time of my life when everything was kind of make-it-or-break-it and one night I was in Chicago, I was playing The Vic Theater and I was doing an event for Vevo, which is a really large social media platform, 33 million impressions which is a number I will never forget, because that night in Chicago, I had a miscarriage. I was 20 years old. I didn't even know I was pregnant and I had a miscarriage and I remember laying in a bed in a hotel room with a towel between my legs, bleeding and staring at my very young, very scared, very male managers [laughs] who had no idea what was going on and I remember them looking at me and saying, 'I mean, it’s 33 million impressions, this concert is kind of a big deal.' So, I had a choice to make in that moment which was, whether I was going to let this experience play out the way it was probably supposed to, or if I was going to get out there and go on that stage, so I took a Percocet and put on an adult incontinence diaper and I wore a long t-shirt that would cover it and I got on stage and I performed in front of about 1,200 screaming teenage girls and there are videos of it online, if you want to go watch. [laughs] It was in that moment that I realized that part of being a woman and dealing with reproductive health is being treated like you’re not a human, is being treated like you’re a robot and you’re supposed to wake up everyday and get over it. But it was also in that moment that I realized that I could overcome anything and that if I wanted to pursue this career and I wanted this pursue this path, there was absolutely nothing that was going to get in my f---ing way, excuse my language. [laughs]
I went to Planned Parenthood after because I was 20 years old and I was a struggling musician and we don't make a lot of money when you’re 20 years old and a struggling musician and Planned Parenthood was the only place that I knew that was safe, that I knew I could trust, that I could be treated like a person and given options and information and that is where I went. Shout out Planned Parenthood. And the biggest question was, Why me at 20 years old? Perfectly healthy, able body, why would I have a miscarriage?' And it was in that process that I found out that I had endometriosis and I had had painful periods my whole life. I thought it was something that I was kind of told that just something that women in our family deal with. I was told I was sensitive or over dramatic. I remember when I had my first job as a hostess at a restaurant and I remember clearing a table and taking a tray back into the kitchen and collapsing to the floor and rushing to the hospital and there was a lot of misdiagnoses along the way, PCOS, which I am sure a lot of people are familiar with as well but nobody really knew what was going on until I had that miscarriage. And it was shortly after that I met my current OB-GYN who is Dr. Aliabadi, out in LA and she is really, really incredible and she is one of my best friends because we see a lot of each other [laughs]. I didn't know what was going on when I got my diagnosis and I had spent a lifetime tucking my tampons into the sleeve of my sweatshirt when I would go to the bathroom, god forbid anybody knew that I was menstruating because it was like the most shameful thing of all time. And now there was this. So, you take the most embarrassing thing that can happen to a woman, which is having a period, and you make it worse and that is a really tough pill to swallow.
I was 21 and was realizing that there is a possibility that I wouldn’t be able to have kids and I spoke about it, I told my fans what I was going through about my diagnosis. I implored them to speak with their physicians and that if they were going through painful menstrual cycles, they needed to speak up because it’s not normal to be having such pain. If you’re staying home from work, if you’re staying home from school, that is not normal and you need to speak up and you need to ask your physicians to take you seriously. And what happened afterwards was kind of amazing because hundreds, maybe even thousands of young people started coming to my concerts and coming to my meet and greets and telling me that because I drew their attention to endometriosis they were diagnosed and people were catching this disease and young people who were 16, 17, 18 years old, which means there was so much hope for them. There was hope for them to not live a life that was not full of pain and this was something they wouldn’t have known about if I didn't post a tweet one day. And it seemed so simple but it was a scary thing to do because as soon as I did it, oh boy, did the world flock in. Everyone wanted to know, who was the father of the baby that I miscarried, was I ever going to be able to have kids, does this mean I was infertile, what is endometriosis, everyone just wanted to pick and pick and pick apart of me and I was already feeling very, very vulnerable. Part of endometriosis is that it can feel like a direct attack on your womanhood. I was very fatigued and was fainting backstage at my concerts and I was bleeding and I was pissed off at the whole world. I was like, why is this happening to me? What did I do to deserve this? My god! Just because I had sex before marriage, this is what I get, seriously? Because I will take it all back, I really will.
But in the process of having everyone pick me apart and feeling so insecure, feeling less of a woman because I couldn't be intimate with my boyfriend, because I couldn't go out when my friends wanted me to, because I was dealing with digestion problems and bleeding problems and fainting and all of the other amazing things that come along with having endo. It was really hard to feel like that confident, 20 something year old girl who wanted to get on the stage with her middle finger held high and make everyone sing along with her. I had surgery a year ago in January and since then, I have felt a lot better. I really have. I had the laparoscopic diagnostic surgery and endometriosis ablation. And I walked the red carpet at the Grammy’s with stitches in my stomach, so [laughs]. There is that. [laughs] And I have made a lot of friends now that I am able to go out and do stuff and I am in a new relationship with someone that loves me and understands me and is passionate and caring about what I have gone through but I still wake up everyday and I am scared that if I become that sick girl again that all of those people will go away, that fears can haunt me for the rest of my life, that if I get sick again, if I get bad like I was, that my friends aren’t going to understand, that my partner is not going to understand, that everybody is going to give up on me because I am a lot easier to deal with when I am healthy than I am when I am sick. [crying] But it’s being places like here and hearing the stories of other women who have been through what I have been through and seeing the smiles on their face and watching them walk in beautiful dresses and watching them be here with their children, their miracle children that they are so happy to have and it’s these experiences that give me hope and make me proud to be sharing my story and knowing that because I am talking about it and because I am not ashamed of it and because I am proud of it that more women are in this world hopefully can catch their diagnosis early or wake up one day and realize that the pain they are living with is not normal and that hopefully they can live a pain free life because of it and I hope that more attention will come to research, to treatment because 1 in 10 women is way too fucking many.
You have to forgive me, I am emotional and also obviously very hormonal so, [laughs]. I knew I was going to cry. I am really lucky, I get on stage every night in a little white costume mind you [laughs] and I work my ass off and to any of my fans and friends and people listening to me who may not know anything about me or never heard a song, if you’re struggling with endometriosis or any chronic illness for that matter, you need to know it’s not something that it’s not something that makes you weak, it’s about what you have overcome and every battle that you’re in helps you win the war at the end of the day. Keep talking to your friends, keep supporting your loved ones, to the women in your life, make sure that they don’t feel ashamed to talk about their reproductive rights, to talk about their reproductive experiences, because the only way for this—for us to gain control of this—is to speak about it. I am so honored to be here and to be supporting my Endo sisters in the room, around the world, I can’t thank you guys enough. Keep f---ing fighting.