Halsey performed at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and was distraught to learn that the brand’s Chief Marketing Officer of L Brands said in an interview that they would never include transgender or plus-sized models. In the offensive interview with Vogue, which happened before the show aired on December 2 (it was taped in November), Ed Razek said that they shouldn’t employ “transsexuals” because “the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is. It is the only one of its kind in the world, and any other fashion brand in the world would take it in a minute, including the competitors that are carping at us.”
After finding out about the interview, Halsey was devastated that she was part of the show, especially since she herself is part of the LGBTQ community. She wrote on Instagram, in part, that, “I have no tolerance for a lack of inclusivity, especially not one motivated by stereotype.” She directed her fans to learn more about GLSEN instead of watching her performance — learn more about it here:
1. GLSEN aims to protect LGBTQ+ students in grades K-12. GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, pronounced “glisten”) was founded in 1990 by a group of teachers in Massachusetts who came together to improve the United States education system, which they argued “too frequently allows its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) students to be bullied, discriminated against, or fall through the cracks.” They’re right.
The organization’s mission is beautiful. They want “every student, in every school, to be valued and treated with respect, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. We believe that all students deserve a safe and affirming school environment where they can learn and grow… Every day GLSEN works to ensure that LGBTQ students are able to learn and grow in a school environment free from bullying and harassment. Together, we can transform our nation’s K-12 schools into the safe and affirming environment all youth deserve.”
2. Halsey asked fans to support GLSEN after the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Halsey condemned the VS Fashion Show after finding out about Ed’s insults toward trans models. She touted GLSEN on Instagram as part of her statement about performing in the show. “Please allow me to direct your attention to GLSEN,” she wrote, “an organization that offers services aimed at protecting LGBTQ+ youth.
“And with respect to those youth targeted by these comments in a world where they have been made to feel ‘other,’ I have made a sizable donation in their honor. We stand in solidarity and complete and total acceptance is the only ‘fantasy’ that I support.”
3. They orchestrate student-led school events, like the Day of Silence. If you’ve gone to high school within the last decade+, you’ve probably taken part in, or at least heard of, the Day of Silence. On this day, students take a vow of silence in honor of those in the LGBTQ community silenced and erased on a daily basis. Participants don’t speak for the entire day. If you’re a student and worried about teachers’ reaction, you cannot legally be punished for your protest. Exercise your right! The next Day of Silence is April 12, 2019.
4. They also sponsor Ally Week and No Name-Calling Week. Ally Week is, of course, aimed at straight allies of the LGBTQ community. LGBTQ educators and K-12 students are encouraged to lead the conversation on what they need and wants from their allies. Here are six examples from real life LGBTQ students!
5. GLSEN responded to Halsey’s support in a statement to HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY: “When leaders of companies or our country say harmful things, LGBTQ youth are listening. Thankfully, they’re also hearing Halsey’s loving, compassionate, and affirming voice,” says Eliza Byard. “We’re so grateful to Halsey for speaking out and for supporting GLSEN. All young people deserve to feel safe in their schools and communities, and GLSEN fights for the core value of respect for all. At GLSEN we know that victimization of transgender and non binary students has increased in recent years. Last school year, more than 1,000,000 students took action with GLSEN in response. Please join them, us, and Halsey in support of trans youth, by signing up as an advocate at glsen.org/supportsafeschools.”
If your school doesn’t have a GLSEN chapter (or if you want to learn more about the one that exists), find out how to get one started HERE! If you’d like to donate to GLSEN, follow that same link!