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Why Lady Gaga's Halftime Show Performance Matters (to Me)

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Despite all the mixed reviews about Lady Gaga performing for the Super Bowl halftime show, I have to admit, I was pretty stoked when the blonde beauty posted on Instagram a few months ago that she was going to be performing.

• What is PTSD?

Lady Gaga is popular (and sometimes criticized) for many things.

Is she eccentric? Maybe a little. Is she unique? Definitely. Is she beautiful? She’s absolutely ga-ga-gorgous (or I think so). Is she a great performer? Absolutely.

Am I a fan? Hell yes! But not just for her music.

Just like me, Lady Gaga has opened up about her experiences living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and how her mental health issue has affected her life.

And over the last couple of years, through her activism and her music, Lady Gaga has renewed a fire in me has helped me accept my PTSD, and her fight for the LBGTQ2S (the Canaidan accronym) has helped me come to terms with my bisexuality.

Because while my own experiences are different from Lady Gaga’s, we are both fighting the same battle. We are both trying to make a difference for someone, for that one person who listens to her music (or reads my blog) to help remind them, “Everything will be OK.”

And for me, whether you liked her Halftime performance or not, I believe she sent a powerful messages to many people around the globe reminding them to have faith. Reminding them they matter. Reminding them they are not alone.

So when she sat down at her piano and said, “We want to make you feel good!” there was no stopping the tears from streaming down my face. I cried because I knew how bad the pain could be. I cried because, once, not too long ago, I had “a million reasons to quit the show.” But I also cried because I am so proud of myself to see how far I have come. I aspire to be a lot of things in life, maybe not a halftime show performer, but I aspire to help make a difference. Whether it’s through my blog or my writing, I want to help someone who once felt like me or who still feels like me.

Like Lady Gaga, I have overcome hardships that I have been both mocked and criticized for, and I have felt a pain so hurtful. I tried to end my life, and I felt a loneliness so deep I thought I would never feel happy again. Our stories are different, but we both fought the same war, and while I’m still coming to terms with both my mental illness and my sexuality, I have hope that one day, like her, I can continue to be brave and help make my mark on the world.

I may not be a singer, though I know how powerful music can be, but I am a writer. And the written word can bring a lot of hope and inspiration.

And while many of you may not have liked or appreciated her performance, I can respect those opinions. But for me, I didn’t see an eccentric individual swinging around on ropes wearing a glitter shoulder-pad outfit. I saw one of my favorite idols, a woman whom I greatly admire.

I saw a message of hope, inspiration, and love.

And since we live in a world that seems more divided than ever, a message of love is what we need right now.

I saw love. And I saw a woman who is struggling with her own battles continuing to smile.

And if Lady Gaga can remain brave, then so can I.

That’s why Lady Gaga’s halftime performance matters to me.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.

Photo by Brian Allen/Voice of America

Originally published: March 10, 2017
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