When Fangirl Meets Activist...

Allow me to fangirl for a minute. I saw a 5 Seconds of Summer concert last night, and IT WAS AWESOME. I dragged my mom along and even she was impressed with their talent. Anyways, I’m gonna move on because otherwise I could write a five-page paper on how much I love these boys.

I’m such a teenage girl and I regret nothing.

I had already bought tickets to their first headlining tour when the video of their guitarist, Michael Clifford, opened up about seeing a therapist. The drummer, Ashton Irwin, followed a few months later by disclosing his struggles with anxiety and depression. Bassist Calum Hood has been a supporter of To Write Love On Her Arms (here, here and here). Then they used those feelings to write an album. With that, they joined the ranks of other musical stars such as Demi Lovato and Pete Wentz.

But what makes them stand out to me, beyond the love in my teenage girlish heart, is their age. The youngest is 20, and the oldest is barely 22. With the exception of Demi, most activists are in their late 30’s. When I read the articles about “my boys” (what my mother has nicknamed them) speaking out, thrilled doesn’t even cover it. I think I laid on the floor and made inarticulate noises for about ten minutes. Then I may or may not have cried.Here were people my age, with a huge platform, saying, “we see you. And we struggle too. It’s okay to not be okay. You are not alone.”

Last night, many people were holding up pieces of paper with the words I AM printed on, then the person filled in with a word that described what their music (and their openness) made them feel. A girl standing near me wrote “I AM HEARD”. And I think that sums it up pretty completely.You think you’re alone? Turn on Jet Black Heart. There’s hundreds, thousands, probably millions, of us around the world listening to that same song for the same reason and experiencing the same emotions. You are not alone.

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