Dating, Relationships, & Sex, Pop Culture, Theory & Essay

Freedom Song: The High Risk and High Reward of Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean is a great writer. This much has been evident since he re-emerged onto the scene as Frank Ocean (he was signed as an artist at Def Jam under his birth name Christopher Lonnie Breaux some years to up-and-coming producer Christopher “Tricky” Stewart of The-Dream fame), and dropped Nostalgia, Ultra. That album took him out of the Odd Future realm and placed him square into the consciousness of millions of people and new fans everywhere. Nostalgia is a great album and was intentioned to be his Def Jam debut. Def Jam dropped the ball.

Anyway, recently, Frank dropped via his tumblr a “Thank You” that he wrote from an airplane in December of 2011. In it, he explaned a tale about unrequited love; a love that couldn’t be…or at least not at the time of its birth. He spoke of a love that took time and agony and confusion and a love that required the help of his family and friends to see him through. He wrote a letter that anybody with a pulse and a past could relate to. It just so happened that this love of his was a man. Amazingly, he managed to write a letter that spoke to his sexuality (or at least bi-sexuality) and what most people probably took from the letter is his humanity. That is no easy feat. A Black man and artist managed to make being gay an afterthought. That is sheer brilliance in execution.

And I only wonder if it worked because he’s not Usher or Maxwell or somebody with a huge profile. For the most part, Frank Ocean’s star is rising. He was the clear shining star in Odd Future and finagled his “mixtape” into writing spots for Beyonce and credits and appearances on Kanye and Jay’s Watch The Throne. He’s a songwriter at his core but one with aspirations of mainstream solo star success. And the truth is, while I’m not a big fan (though “We All Try” has stayed in rotation in my iTunes since it dropped), I recognize the voice, the talent, and the rising star that he is.

So I admittedly found it odd that somebody with “so much to lose” would make such an admission and so publicly. There’s no mincing of his words and the manner in which he dropped the “news” leaves nothing to be misconstrued. Honestly, I’m happy for him. My guess is that like for many an individual with an alternative lifestyle (forgive me for using that term, seriously) the burden of pretending to be who you aren’t, especially in a field as filled with machismo as Black music had to be daunting. But he lept, landed, and is freer for it. I applaud that courage. Still, I wonder how accepting people will be of this admission. Maybe he had to. I read a review of his Channel Orange album and in it the writer noted that he had several songs where he directly mentioned a “him” where a “her” would normally go. So perhaps he released the liner notes (the “Thank You” is his liner nots for the album) as a means of blunting the unexpected when people listen to the album and start attempting to connect the dots. He did the dirty work for us all by speaking truth to the doubts and questions that would arise.

Back to the music industry for a second. Imagine if you found out that Teddy Pendergrass was gay. Or say, Bobby Brown, somebody who’s music is 100 percent informed by conquest. I realize that Frank Ocean is neither of those artists. His music isn’t driven by his virility or masculinity. People have long suspected Johnny Gill of being gay and his biggest songs are clear-cut man-on-woman love songs. But would you feel lied to if you found out definitively? I’m curious about that. Frank definitely has songs where he’s talking about falling for or sexing up some woman. And that is still very possible and maybe even likely. But it seems like a significant number of women take issue with bi-sexual men. As open as many of us swear to be, there are still certain taboos we are nowhere near comfortable with. And given that Frank’s largest audience will likely be women, I do wonder if his letter may cause some to lose interest in him.

We already know how homophobic so many of us men can be. Stupid as this is about to sound, my guess is that very few men want to listen to “the gay dude”. Of course, this could all be for naught. Maybe it doesn’t matter at all. And no, it shouldn’t. But when has what should happen ever stopped what will happen?

On the flipside, I can see him gaining a slew of new fans because of this as well. Though they may come from quarters we wouldn’t usually associate with Black music. Basically, Lady Gaga fans. By the way, I don’t really think who your fans are matters. But Frank’s largely been associated with the Black circuit because of his alliances. Maybe now he’ll find fans who are looking for more openness and freedom to be who they are. Which isn’t a bad thing. At all. There’s something empowering about somebody who can relate to your struggle (oddly enough, his struggle had nothing to do with orientation, it was with the frustration of love – like I said, he brilliantly handled this).

So I suppose Frank’s letter is high risk, high reward. Maybe. Even as I write this, I’m not sure I believe that he would really feel any true negative repercussions. It seems like most women, his intended audience, think nearly every singer is gay nowadays anyway, so a formal admission is just a formality and to be applauded for not playing with anybody’s emotions, I suppose.

And again, if you couldn’t relate to his letter on a personal level there’s a good chance you’ve died inside already.

And at the end of the day, good music is supposed to elicit emotion and take you somewhere. If that’s what happens, does it truly matter the orientation of its creator?

It shouldn’t.

But does it?

What do you think? Do you think his admission will have any affect on his career?

Talk to me. Petey.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka MR. NOT A FAN, BUT RESPECT THE MAN aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

By the way, I wasn’t going to write a post today, but I figured that I should write about this.

ONE MORE DAY!!! For all those folks in the DMV, make sure you RSVP for FREE ENTRY to REMINISCE happening this Saturday, July 7, 2012, at Liv Nightclub (corner of 11th and U Streets, NW) in DC tomorrow night! It’s the hottest 90s party in the city AND our DJs birthday so you know we’re going all in!!!! We’re also celebrating the one-year anniversary of Urban Cusp!! You never know who might stop through. Plus, there’s an open bar from 930-1030 and no dress code. Come party with VSB P and get your boogie on. We party hard! RSVP here—–>http://reminiscedc.eventbrite.com

Last but not least, go peep The Champ’s latest piece at Ebony.com, entitled, “An Obit for the Obitless”. Also, peep Panama’s latest post over at Guyspeak, “The Notebook and 5 Other Movies That Might End Your Marriage”.

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Damon Young

Panama Jackson is a co-founder of VSB and co-author of Your Degrees Won't Keep You Warm At Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide to Dating, Mating, and Fighting Crime. He believes the children are our future and is waiting to find out if he is the 2nd most interesting man in the world.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

    More positive than negative. But it will definitely have an effect.

  • Thai

    Interesting. I honestly think it will have a positive effect. The flood gates are open. I have not read of any backlash anywhere so my guess is…he good. Ive always loved his craft and voice (if angel dust had a sound, it would be frank’s voicce lol).

  • http://panamaenrique.wordpress.com Malik

    Well Frank Ocean hasn’t stated his orientation yet and I will not speculate on that.

    Having a Black male that is open about, at the very least 1, relationship with another man is a big deal. Particularly for the Queer Black kids who have pretty much never had a mainstream Black figure for them or writing songs on relationships and love that they could most personally relate to at least on a pronoun front.

    I don’t know if it’ll effect his career. I don’t think he WON’T get work because of this. I also don’t think any of the light-weight homophobic people that were already fans stop supporting him because he isn’t femme. I don’t know about his career though because I never really thought about how it was going to progress in the first place.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

      Good point. The fact that he hasn’t stated an orientation yet but we’re already labeling him as GAY speaks volumes. If he says that it was only once and he’s never ever ever ever had feelings for another man he will ALWAYS be labeled as homosexual. I’m curious about how this will affect his dating life as a star. I mean women are drawn to talent and fame but we all know how the “bisexual” double standard works. I’m curious to see how those dynamics play against one another.

      • Latonya

        hmmm I don’t think that Frank would have a problem getting the ladies. I was reading on other blogs were women thought that he was brave and that they still would “hit it”.

      • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

        I don’t think the number of female fans will change, but the composition will change. The ladies looking for a swoon-worthy lover will be replaced by laid-back open-minded women. It won’t kill him, but I know his accountant thinks otherwise.

    • http://www.shesoflyy.wordpress.com Muze

      THANK YOU for stating what sooo many media outlets have chosen to overlook. so many of these articles are assigning labels to him that he did not. what i got from his letter was that he fell in love with a man. he told him, he cried, dude went upstairs to his girlfriend and he kept up an awkward friendship with him. he has not said he is now a champion for gay rights or gay music. he has not even said he is gay or bisexual. i swear we love labels and boxes.

      • DQ

        Labels and boxes are easier. It alleviates our obligation to do all that hard thinking and analysis. But something you said did cross my mind, will Frank’s letter become the battleground for a proxy war between conservative and liberal groups?

        Like you pointed out, dude was simply saying what he felt, not that he wanted to be the poster boy for the LGBT community and not that he wanted to be an object of attack or ridicule by others with an agenda. And yet I suspect both will happen.

      • Anastasia!!!

        Yeah, but come on Muze!! Yes he hasn’t “said it,” but are we really going to pretend like what he’s saying means something other than he likes men?

        If it wasn’t anything more, why say anything about it in the first place??

        • Aly

          I think what she’s saying is that sexuality can be complicated. HE may not even know if he’s gay, bi, or whatever yet, but WE’RE already assigning him labels.

          “If it wasn’t anything more, why say anything about it in the first place??”

          Why not? He wrote about love and heartbreak, something people do every day. It just so happens that his experience was with a man.

          • Meisarebel

            If it was Tyrone from across the street who came up to you and said 3 years ago he fell in love with a man, wouldn’t you call him gay?

            • Meisarebel

              Just to clarify, I acknowledge that at no point did Frank say “hey guys, I like peen in my mouth.” He probably doesn’t at all. He spoke about love, I get that.

              But let’s be honest with ourselves. If you had a car mechanic, probably one of the best mechanics you’ve ever been to, and one day he tells you that he fell in love with Mike the carpenter 3 years ago, I’m sure the majority of us, if not all, right here on VSB would be like “damn, my mechanic is gay and been gay for the past three years.” There would be no argument about “well he only told me about love, nothing more.”

              We label people. That’s what we do. Frank just happens to be famous and a good writer. So people give him a pass. If he’s gay, he’s gay. If not, he’s not. No one NEEDS to defend him. Yet we do have a tendency to give famous people the shrug and benefit of the doubt simply because they are famous (once they are talented of course): R.Kelly anyone? Not QUITE the same thing, but you get what I mean.

              • Rewind

                As a society, we are taught to label things in order to identify what they mean to us. But to pretend that we are above and beyond labels is silly. No one can stop themselves from doing it at this rate. We might be more open-minded about things as time goes on, but the default is always to label and categorize.

                • Meisarebel

                  Basically.

            • Aly

              That’s a tough one. If any man told me that he fell in love with another man, my gut reaction would be to say, yes, he’s gay. And like other women here have said, it would be hard for me to even consider having a relationship with someone who’s been in love with a man. That’s just the honest truth.

              But let’s look at it from another perspective. Women have lesbian experiences, and few people bat an eye when they go on to later have relationships with men. Women have the luxury of exploring their sexuality without judgement, while men, especially black men do not. Why is that? Like I said, sexuality is complicated and men should have the freedom to do this without being placed into a box.

              • mena

                “why is that?”

                Aly, for me it has everything to do with a man being entered by another man. I for the life of me, right now, can’t believe that men can be bi and those women that claim that they are, but have never had a relationship with a woman, are simply sexually experimenting bc they think it’s cute. Is it a closed minded view? Possibly. But it is my view none the less.

                My friends and I were talking about this just two days ago. One of my closest friends in the entire world says that he is bisexual. He and I had a very candid discussion regarding this and he said to me “I know you don’t believe in bisexuality.” I told him that he was correct but really what do I know. Just bc I have never had feelings for both sexes doesn’t mean that it can’t happen for someone else. I definitely recognize this point of view and recognize the flaw in my own logic.

                Bisexuality is just extremely hard for me to wrap my brain around.

                • Inqueerie

                  As someone who IS bi, I can tell you fore SURE that its possible. I’ve beem in realationships with both men and women. I prefer to date women, sleep with women, etc, but I am still attracted to men. I’m 35; its taken me 10 years to get to the point where I’m secure enough in myself to be able to say that, yes, I do fantasize about and am attracted to men, not just women (the gay communitt can be just as bad anout forcing folks to check a box as straight peeps can).

                  • mena

                    I have heard this all before and as I said, I know that my reasoning is flawed somewhat but it’s still my point of view. Whether you are straight, bi, gay, or transgendered, wether I agree or not is a mute point. I give respect and would never tell someone else how they should feel. My friend above respected the fact that I hold these views, was able to recognize that I really don’t know since I have only been attracted to men, and we kept it moving.

                    • Inqueerie

                      That’s cool, no love lost! Wasn’t tryna force you to “get it”, just co-signing on your friends perspective in dialogue.

                      I didn’t finish my thought before (I was typing on my cell, and it just didn’t work out). What I wanted to say, and maybe it’s a reply better suited to the more general replies, is that no matter what Frank is, or thinks he is or isn’t, isn’t really for any of us to be debating. I use the term “bi” only because I’ve learned that most people just can’t wrap their heads around the idea of NOT putting people into boxes and just letting them be who they are, and do what they do. This man hasn’t said anything other than that he fell in love with another man. He didn’t say he was gay, or bi, or pan, or anything, but here we are assigning labels, and with the labels we are assigning come the preconceived characteristics of, and reactions to, that “group” of people.

          • http://www.shesoflyy.wordpress.com Muze

            that’s exactly what i’m saying.

            women fall in love with women all the time and are not identified as gay.

            just saying. i think he wrote it in that way for a reason. like a guy friend of mine said. “if i say i liked oranges one year, doesn’t mean i don’t like strawberries. just means i liked oranges.” lol.

            all i would like is for people not to place loads/labels/etc on people that they have not appropriated to themselves. when he says it, fine. but i don’t think it’s right to over analyze a letter that was really just explaining why he had “he” in some of the songs.

          • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

            “I think what she’s saying is that sexuality can be complicated.”

            Like a mug. If folks think sexuality stops at “straight, gay, bisexual” then well um… wake up wake up wake up. Spike.

    • Rewind

      There will still be a backlash but as it was stated, his career is on the rise. We are of a different era where we kind of see things happen before they do happen, and it doesn’t hit us as hard. Not the same way it would if he was already 5 years into his career as a heavy weight in the music game. And I know some rappers will give him some flack about it, but I think he’ll be ok in the end.

    • whyaskquestions

      I think you made a good point that there aren’t a lot of mainstream songs that speak to lgbtq… relationships. So I’m actually going to buy his album for that very reason. Lol. (And also, I’m a fan anyways. Swim Good x 100) But love is extremely diverse and complicated and unfortunately most commercially successful music does not even begin to represent the diversity of love and attraction.

      In addition, whether his music is trash or not (its not) it really was a perfectly executed public ‘coming out’ (assuming he came out). The letter was expertly written as PJ stated. The pronouns were merely an afterthought. Bravo Frank!

    • A Woman’s Eyes

      Malik that’s my favorite avatar of you. It shows your beautiful features, skin and hair.

      Back on topic: Frank Ocean rocks for being this ballsy. I think this will have a positive effect because its seems Black America is becoming more accepting or resigned to the fact that some men are homosexual.

      I actually remember a time when Black America openly expressed homophobia.

  • Latonya

    I’m never surprised anymore when someone comes out. Its not as shocking anymore!
    And off topic: People were shocked that Anderson Cooper recently came out. But I thought he outed himself a few years ago?!

    • http://www.shesoflyy.wordpress.com Muze

      he did. i’m confused as to why people are surprised too. lol

    • http://www.twitter.com/think2inspire Think2Inspire

      Didn’t er’body already know doe? Anderson Cooper is still a silver fox no matter what <3

      • http://afrikanmami.blogspot.com African Mami

        AC is one of THE only few white men that moves my heart! It breaks my heart that I stand no chance with him

        • MJoy

          it’s actually depressing. and i loooooooooove me some frank ocean. Now i have no one to love :( I would say back to Will Smith but… you know the rest

    • Rewind

      Someone said it’s not hard to tell you’re gay when your best friend is Kathy Griffin when describing AC’s coming out party. You can’t not laugh at that.

    • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

      Ya, I thought he came out a while ago…

    • JessicaL

      My man and his friends were sitting on the porch discussing music one day. One of his friends then said Bruno Mars is gay. Not that, that would surprise me anyway. My man and his friends then decided that if he “came out” then they wouldn’t listen to him. I was floored by how closed minded he was about it. Especially, because my best friend is my gay male cousin.

    • whostolethesoul1

      when was he “in” the closet? He just didn’t push it into everyone’s face. Unless you see pictures of someone and whomever they are in a relationship with it doesn’t matter—>think MSNBCs Johnathan Capehart or Wanda Sykes-still smart, still funny…

  • http://dopereads.com Terryn

    Nobody had a problem with Luther singing “straight” love songs. Women fawn over Prince and he is extremely non-traditional. I think Frank’s statement is a positive step toward showing that humans are just that – human, and that we need to stop being so worried about what or who someone else is doing.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

      We still don’t know FOR SURE whether Luther was gay or not… of course 99% of black people think that he was but we didn’t know. Frank left no doubt. Plus Luther was an established artist by the time everybody suspected for real for real that he was gay. And Prince isn’t gay. Thats blasphemy. Prince’s music, aside from the falsetto and the dandy sense of style is VERY MASCULINE and is at least in part, driven by conquest.

      • http://panamaenrique.wordpress.com Malik

        Word. Just because Prince wears heels and hair stays laid doesn’t mean he ever stopped smanging 13 different women every week of the year. I ain’t sayin there isn’t any love songs in Prince’s catalog, but Prince talks about F#%cking far more than making love.

        • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

          I remember someone (I SO want to give em credit for this genius but I forgot) perfectly summed up the entity that is Prince. They were like, “Prince is that dude who can put it on your girl, then wear her shoes afterward.”

          Yasssss!

          • tgtaggie

            Prince in my opinion is like a anomaly. For the life of me I can’t figure out why he gets so many women.

            “What was wild was the guy that look the most like a b*tch was getting all the women- Charlie Murphy

            http://youtu.be/OjLG92qXfSg

            • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=mhee Perverted Alchemist

              Oh you ain’t know? He’s a bawse- he can do that!!!

              He hit off just about every woman in the Paisley Park collective- except for Wendy & Lisa…for obvious reasons…

            • http://wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

              Things that make you go hmmm. Would I do Prince? Of course. And I’m sure it would be the wildest ride of my life, just in pure strangeness. Kinda like doing a sexy transgender dude/ette who was an amazing famous artist. No, exactly that, lol. But could another femme man get it? Depends. How much alcohol is involved? Am I out of town? I put that in the category of freak that sparks curiosity, but it doesn’t really get me going. Usually.

            • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

              “For the life of me I can’t figure out why he gets so many women.”

              Because he rich, talented, famous, and has a super deep voice.

              • Around the Way Girl

                That’s a less significant part of it. You know how there are those women who have a sex appeal that other women don’t understand? I think there was a post about it…she may not fit the general definition of “sexy” but men can sense the freak in her. I think that’s what it is with Prince. You just KNOW it would be off the chains.

          • http://www.shesoflyy.wordpress.com Muze

            HA. um, am i the only woman who is in no way attracted to Prince? ew. he’s little and wears buttcheek-less pants. not my cup of tea. i like his music but MJ had way more sexy than Prince to me… during his less ghostly years.

            • mena

              No you aren’t. I wrote on here a while back that I didn’t understand the hype around him in the first place. Pretty men (whether in their style or physical features) do nothing for me.

            • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

              LOL, you definitely are not the only one. He does nothing for me in that way.

          • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

            I think you’ve nailed it. And I’ve watched happen literally all my life, and I still don’t understand. As effeminate and non-traditional as he comes off, if you listen to his lyrics, he’s a very old-school dude. I’m not sure how he pulls it off. Maybe it’s all that Minnesota cold. LOL

          • http://www.styleillusions.com WIP

            I recall one of y’all saying Prince was so feminine, that he was masculine again. He’s so far East, he started going West.

            • Meisarebel

              Ha!

        • bhillboy

          Dude….”Adore”. The most beautiful love song of them all.

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=mhee Perverted Alchemist

        “We still don’t know FOR SURE whether Luther was gay or not… of course 99% of black people think that he was but we didn’t know.”

        I remember reading after Luther Vandross’ death that some of his closest friends had stated that he was indeed gay- with Fonzi Thornton and Lisa Fischer (his former background singers) being the most outspoken of the bunch.

      • whostolethesoul1

        +1, Prince’s “issue” is his height.

  • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

    ” A Black man and artist managed to make being gay an afterthought. That is sheer brilliance in execution.”

    Ain’t it?!

    “And at the end of the day, good music is supposed to elicit emotion and take you somewhere. If that’s what happens, does it truly matter the orientation of its creator?”

    We talked about this but I’ll say it again here. A love song is a love song is a love song. When we listen to them, we are rarely thinking of what it means to the artist singing it, but more so thinking of how it relates to US personally.

    Singers write songs directly to people all the time. INTIMATE songs that are just between the singer and that person. A person, … that is not me. Or you. Does that somehow invalidate the song’s overall message? Nope. Because again, the song ignites something in our lives.

    So it’s no different here. Love is not limited to sexual orientation. We know this. In Franks beautifully written letter he was able to encapsulate the gripping feelings of unrequited love in the most perfect manner.

    Now, I’m not naive to think that there are people who will boycott him because of this. I was witness to a bunch of people saying hurtful things to him on Twitter, unfortunately but it is only a cyber illustration of the real world. There ARE people who think his sexual orientation trumps the music’s message.

    But, I’d rather focus on the people who were positively affected by his letter. His letter opened so many hearts, gay, straight or otherwise and sweet Jesus… that’s a victory to me.

    • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

      ETA: Typo, that should say… “Now, I’m not naive to think that there AREN’T people who will boycott him because of this.”

    • http://www.twitter.com/think2inspire Think2Inspire

      “A love song is a love song is a love song. When we listen to them, we are rarely thinking of what it means to the artist singing it, but more so thinking of how it relates to US personally.”

      Pretty much. When I listen to ‘Nautre Feels’ I don’t care who or what he was talking about but who I want to do. Although sometimes I pretend Robin Thicke wrote ‘When I get You Alone’ about me.

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=mhee Perverted Alchemist

        “Although sometimes I pretend Robin Thicke wrote ‘When I get You Alone’ about me.”

        Stalker alert, LMAO!!!

    • DQ

      You know… I think I agree with you. I liked Rashaan Patterson’s first album and I haven’t stopped liking it simply because he came out. The music is the music, and perhaps that’s how it should be.

      • DQ

        Ok let me qualify that last statement. I realize there are lot’s of different ways for people to enjoy any form of art. And I realize everyone doesn’t necessarily have to appreciate music the way I do. If you feel like you connect to the singer by listening to the music, maybe it would cause you to change. I don’t. I connect with the art – primarily the music and instrumentation. I don’t even listen to the words in most songs so I would be somewhat indifferent to anything personal about the artist that somehow made it’s way into the song. However I know that’s not how everyone listens to music so, for ME the music is about the music.

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1?feature=mhee Perverted Alchemist

        When it comes to songwriting:
        Rahsaan Patterson>>>>>Frank Ocean

        Exhibit A: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJzMlOXwOto

  • Anastasia!!!

    I was about to change my gravatar, but then I got lazy.

    Okay, see I don’t know what it is going to do for his career. There are MANY a ninja so homophobic that they would not buy Frank Ocean’s album because he fux with dudes. But then again, maybe those people weren’t the people who listen to his music anyway.

    I truly truly TRULY respect this. There are men in the industry now living in secret. There are people who are going to hear this news, and it’s going to give the courage to move forward in their life.

    I’ll be purchasing. ;-)

    • Kandi

      Speaking on the homophobic crowd, I would “possibly” not has as much of a problem with them but there is so much hypocrisy. They hate admissions of “gayness” but run to wear the latest designs by openly gay designers and celebrate prison culture (no fleece johnson). Cee-lo is now imitating liberace. Also, despite having access to thousands of women, they insist on sleeping with the same women sometimes in immediate succession.

      • WayUPThere

        “Also, despite having access to thousands of women, they insist on sleeping with the same women sometimes in immediate succession.”

        Am I the only one who fails to see the connection between this statement and everything else that you’re talking about?

        • WayUPThere

          And Kandi, you’re very correct about the obvious hypocrisy in buying clothing from openly g@y designers, taking fashion cues from prison culture, and Cee-Lo dressing like Liberace, but that last statement ran counter to everything else it seemed.

        • Kandi

          It’s not “gay” per say but it is a more acceptable way for men that are “fond” of one another to have a shared sexual experience when they would not or are not ready to take it to the next level.

          • WayUPThere

            Gotcha. I misunderstood what you were saying. I thought you meant that each one of them would have a respective group of women (groupie cohorts) and that they would sleep only with that group of women in succession (one woman after another and so forth and so on), not that the men would follow one another and sleep with the same few women.

            #caseofthefridays

  • Iceprincess

    Yep its cool wit me, i dont care if u gay, straight, black, white, or polkadot. If your songs are good, im a fan. Panama, you have it half right. I dont think women have a problem with bi men, we have a huge problem with DOWN LOW bi men. Theres a big difference. As long as you out in the open about your shit, i respect that. Still wouldnt date you tho. Lol. So yea but i definately dig frank oceans decision. It was brave.

  • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

    Everyone is being politically correct at the moment and congratulating Frank on being open about his sexuality. But that’s going to wear off soon. Before you know it people are going to be saying a bunch of craziness about him. And the only reason most people aren’t being typically homophobic is because he didn’t leave it to anyone to speculate as most Black celebrities who are LGBT do. So he just caught everyone off guard. Things will unfortunately change though, IMO.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/mackaroto Jay

      I agree 100%

    • http://www.twitter.com/think2inspire Think2Inspire

      I don’t know if you are on the twitter but someone with a fake Frank Ocean account has been retweeting all the negativity the account has gotten. Looking at some of those tweets I honestly can’t imagine what his real account has recieved thesse past 2 days.

      • http://pinchmycheekie.wordpress.com Cheekie

        Yeah, the ish being said on there is pure evil. Don’t wish seeing the words spewed to him on anyone, but best believe the bigots are speaking their peace.

      • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

        That doesn’t surprise me. The flood gates will open and the name calling will begin, if it hasn’t already began. There is just too much homophobia and small-mindedness for him to not get a lot of hate thrown at him.

    • http://blackmedici.wordpress.com Black Medici

      Would you prefer if his haters just kept quiet and didn’t say anything, while all his supporters yell and scream joyous praise for such a courageous act?

      I’ve always believed that out of great conflict comes progress, but yet in a society where people claim to be humanists, and great lovers of mankind, it’s ironic how quickly that love is quick to dissipate once an antagonists comes along talking about his’/her’s counter-opinion. It’s not new that people do not like the act of homosexuality; it is a well documented fact that many people worldwide view it as a complete and utter sin, punishable by death. Are those people to be quiet, because Frank Ocean wrote a heart felt letter about his love and compassion towards another man?

      I’m glad that people will come out against Frank Ocean, perhaps more so than I am at the people who will come out in support for him. Because the people who support him will not bring us towards any further progress than where we were previously. You’re not going to defeat the irrational by labeling them as haters or homophobic, the only weapon to defeat them is reason. To be honest, people who support Frank Ocean should be happy that his haters are more than willing to come out and yell, scream and hate, because if they simply kept silent, and showed no interest whatsoever, his effort would ultimately be in vain.

      Shame and guilt only buries hatred, it never eliminates it or conquers it. Much of the LBGT community and organizations like GLAAD have appealed towards the guilting and shaming side rather than the reason and logic side. When Frank Ocean wrote his piece, he appealed to people’s ability to reason about love and rejection, and that’s why so many supporters feel like what he did was so special, which is why we’re here talking about him, nobody gave a f&*k when Ricky Martin came out the closet! If the supporters of homosexuals and gay rights should learn anything from Frank, they should learn that the best way to conquer hatred is when one appeals to what makes all of us human, which is our ability to think which persuades people to open their minds. It is not through censoring, marginalizing opinion or using collective power to get people fired, that we reach consensus, it is through knowledge and understanding…plain and simple.

      • http://blackmedici.wordpress.com Black Medici

        Moderation

        • http://wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

          Yeah, me too

          • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

            Hey, free the people. Let’s see what they have to offer.

      • http://fourpageletter.wordpress.com keisha brown

        i appreciate your comment – but disagree.

        • http://blackmedici.wordpress.com Black Medici

          That’s not good enough. What’s your reason for disagreeing?

          • http://fourpageletter.wordpress.com keisha brown

            lol. sorry about that. had to run out and didn’t want to start and not finish.

            detractors are always a part of any discussion/argument as much as supporters are. i don’t think supporters are saying you can’t speak any more than the detractors are saying you shouldn’t speak.

            i can only speak of my immediate social networks, but based on the conversations i’ve had – most of the detractors are telling me my opinion is wrong. i’ve yet to say to anyone that theirs is – just merely pointing out the hypocritical/inconsistent nature of it.

            i also disagree that detractors will bring about change. especially since MOST of the comments about homosexuality is based on a book, that they have not read or studied, that was re-written by man many years ago and many times over. it’s very rare for me to read of someone who has negative things to say about homosexuality because they were treated poorly. it’s based on religion – an institution clearly NOT about any progress or change what-so-ever.

            change comes about in many ways – and i keep thinking of the young man (especially black one) who may have thought all hope is lost and ready/willing/able to take his own life – but may NOT do so now because of the courage FO showed (whether to sell records or not, only FO knows).

            • http://wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

              Its not always based on religion. People jump to that conclusion and have a ready made answer and then quit listening. The other ready made answer is “you’re a hypocrite” which is a way of silencing the person and dismissing what they have to say. Half the time when people are saying they disagree/don’t like homosexuality, the Bible is not the main reason, it is just ONE reason that happens to be written down. People never get the chance to articulate the others because once the name calling, Christian bashing begins, they just quit.

              And that’s where people get the idea that anything anti gay is based on religion. They conveniently forget natural feelings and aversions we have and develop based on the gender roles we were born with. Yeah, those. Remember those? They still exist, they are strong and they are valid.

              • http://fourpageletter.wordpress.com keisha brown

                well WC – based on the fact that people feel MORE than free to state their opinions at any cost, (battybwoy haffi dead!) i’ve YET to see ANY person spew anything than biblical scriptures as the ENTIRE basis of their argument.

                where are these ‘other’ factors? if some dude said to me: i was bullied by a group of gay boys, i was inappropriately touched or hit on – that would make perfect sense to me why they might have problems with it. if they tried to correlate sexual abuse to homosexuality (which many try to do) – that would make some sense to me. using the bible is never going to win an argument with me. (or most others).

                especially when it’s the same book that says this:
                https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/406029_415562228482478_87570871_n.jpg

                AND there are a plentiful amount of sins being committed by those same people EVERYDAY. some of them WORSE than falling in love with a man. hell – i fell in love with a man who broke me/my heart in the worst way. but it’s fine because we’re both heterosexual? nah son. dat nuh mek it.

                • Around the Way Girl

                  We are so —><—

                • http://wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

                  Just gave her a reason and she ignored it and jumped back to the anti Christian ranting. This is why….smdh…..

            • http://blackmedici.wordpress.com Black Medici

              So yes those people are irrational and yeh those people believe in a book that preaches hate towards gay people, do they not have a right to belive that? The fact of the matter is that in a free society, people are free to do as they please as long as they respect the rights of others. And people do have the right not to be physically assaulted or abused, however, people do not have the right not to be hated, and not to be viewed as evil.

              If people who advocate for gays, if they’re not willing to have reasonable and rational debates with the people who they disagree with, then they should focus on things that make more sense, getting the government to properly protect their rights, and leave the people who dislike them alone.

      • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

        I see where you’re coming from. Sunshine is the best disinfectant, and having these haters out in the open is a great and good thing. My question is how many of these haters are open to reason. Some are willing to listen from whatever perspective they come from. The thing is that so many people use homophobia as a way of projecting their own insecurities onto gay people and hoping that by getting rid of them, they can solve their fears.

        I’m not sure how to tell those who are open to reason and those who are not. I do hope the ones that aren’t into reason aren’t also into lynching and property crimes.

        • http://blackmedici.wordpress.com Black Medici

          Which is actually fine, believe it or not.

          There’s nothing wrong with hating gay people or disliking them, shoot some people dislike me for existing, as long as you respect their individual rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness, then you can ask for nothing more. The only way you can control what people feel about you is through censorship, and regardless, of how many gay activists or feminists, like to switch words around, and evade the facts of the matter, if you’re advocating that people should have no fear of you, that they shouldn’t hate you, that they shouldn’t use words because they offend you (Yes, this applies to black people who say white people shouldn’t use the N-Word) etc, you’re advocating censorship. And most rational and reasonable people are not going to side on any group that supports censorship, especially if it is aimed towards them, because in the long term no one benefits from it.

          Now, on the other hand, rights is something most people believe in. The vast majority of people I know who don’t like gay people, still believe they should have civil unions, have marriage benefits, serve in the army, and that they shouldn’t be fired for the fact that they’re gay. Most people are down for rights, however, what hurts a lot of gay advocacy groups is they’re trying to tell people how they’re supposed to FEEL in addition to their pursuit of rights, and just like they did with Tracy Morgan, they try to ostracize people who express themselves in ways that they don’t agree with, and it makes people like myself, not respect them, because you can tell that they’re not looking for just rights, but they’re also looking for POWER. They can go ahead and get power if that’s what they want, but I’m not the one who is going to hand it over to them.

          • Around the Way Girl

            “you can tell that they’re not looking for just rights, but they’re also looking for POWER.”

            I’m not seeing how this is a problem. You need power to make a change, and things can change if people begin to see things differently. The goal of gay rights advocates is not censorship; it’s trying to change people’s thinking about homosexuality. That’s the only way you’re going to get people, on a large scale, to respect their rights. If the majority of people still felt the same way about black folks as they did 300 years ago, you would be somewhere picking cotton for free right now. Maybe the arguments could use a little more appeals to logic, but let’s not act like the average American voter is logical anyway…feelings drive most of the public’s political views (this has been shown empirically). To ignore or discount feelings would be completely ineffective.

            I don’t like censorship either, but the only way you’re going to get the public to begin to change is if you make some things unacceptable. Words aren’t just words; they reflect and perpetuate a mindset. That mindset is what needs to be targeted in order for any real change to take place.

            • http://blackmedici.wordpress.com Black Medici

              Power doesn’t work that way. If you take power away from others you’re always going to have to worry about blowback and other unintended consequences. People can generate power by themselves, they don’t need to take it from other people, do you think by stopping people from bashing gays on TV that you’re going to prevent people from bashing gays in real life? I mean just because white people can’t say N**ga on TV, does that prevent them from saying it in real life.

              Censorship is all about control, and people who feel like they can control you are never going to be willing to let go of control no matter how good they’re doing. People who live for power over others, always end up being corrupt and abusive when it’s all said and done.

              • Around the Way Girl

                We’re going to have to agree to disagree. I don’t see gay people as this power-hungry, controlling entity that is trying to take over the country. I think they’re regular people who want the freedom to be themselves (without hostility and violence) and the same rights as everyone else. Nothing to be wary about.

                “do you think by stopping people from bashing gays on TV that you’re going to prevent people from bashing gays in real life?”

                It wouldn’t prevent everyone obviously, but if we’re “bashing gays” on TV, we’re sending the message that it is socially acceptable to do so. That means more people would end up thinking it’s okay to bash and dehumanize them. Think about kids and how they’re socialized…don’t underestimate how instrumental the media is in shaping our culture.

                • http://blackmedici.wordpress.com Black Medici

                  First thing, I didn’t accuse gay people, I accused gay advocacy groups or pressure groups as the people who are pursuing power. Gay people simply support them.

                  As for the media influence on our kids, it’s way over stated and is a ploy usually used by people who feel superior to others. If we all are exposed to the media, and we’re all controlled by it, isn’t it rational that we would all be the same, including the people who claim that the media is very powerful and influences culture. You might as well say the internet as a wide influence on our culture, and the government might as well navigate and control all websites on the internet, since kids could easily be brain damaged by all the bad things that are on the web.

                  Finally, in terms of freedom, there is no freedom that protects you from hostility or hatred. You can be protected from violence, in terms of a justice system, but you can not legislate emotions, unless of course you live under a dictatorship.

                  • Around the Way Girl

                    “If we all are exposed to the media, and we’re all controlled by it, isn’t it rational that we would all be the same, including the people who claim that the media is very powerful and influences culture.”

                    No, that’s not rational at all. Every single person does not react to stimuli in the same way, and I never said we are all “controlled” by the media, just that our society and the things we care (or don’t care) about are heavily influenced by it. It can and does affect the way many people feel about things. Advertising, anyone?

                    But like I said, we’ll agree to disagree. On pretty much everything you have said. To me, your collective comments look like you’re just trying to intellectualize homophobia. Just being frank; disregard it, call me crazy, do with it what you will. But these same arguments you’re making have been used by countless conservatives to object to progress in other areas as well…

                    • http://blackmedici.wordpress.com Black Medici

                      I’m not intellectualizing anything. I just think it is stupid and ultimately futile to try to change people by making them silent, through shaming, guitling and bullying rather than making rational arguments and debating them head on, to prove your point.

                      As I’ve said several times, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and I see a lot of these gay advocacy groups and their supporters rallying for things, based off myopic ideas that they wish for eveyone to accept without any form of criticism, regardless of how rational or irrational it might be. I agree with their ends, but I completely disagree with their means.

          • http://panamaenrique.wordpress.com Malik

            White people already have power.

            • http://wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

              Right, so its bullying, using the cover of victimhood/civil rights

              • http://panamaenrique.wordpress.com Malik

                Yes. Which is why ignore gay people who go on and on about gay marriage. And why I think the “it gets better” campaign is terrible. However, I can’t ignore legitimate civil and human rights issues because white people that may intersect within them are mostly terrible self-centered human beings.

            • Around the Way Girl

              You’re talking about a completely different social identity here. Enjoying racial privilege does not make a person immune from experiencing oppression in other areas.

              • http://panamaenrique.wordpress.com Malik

                And you would think the mainstream LGBT rights movement would be aware of intersectionality. But they’re not and they’re only considered about how the white members are doing. Which is why they can go go suck a rotten egg.

                • Around the Way Girl

                  Damn. Well I can’t really speak on that, you know something I don’t. That’s really disappointing if it’s true.

                • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

                  “And you would think the mainstream LGBT rights movement would be aware of intersectionality. But they’re not and they’re only considered about how the white members are doing. Which is why they can go go suck a rotten egg.”

                  I agree, Malik. I see evidence of this all the time.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

      Are you on FB? Do you follow Hot 97′s Fan Page? I’ll put it to you like this. In response to the radio station’s annoucement of the news, people started putting links to Buju Banton songs. And no, not the most famous one.

      Yes, homophobia is real in the Black community, no doubt.

  • That Ugly Kid

    *Before Frank Ocean came out.*

    Me: “Man, this Frank Ocean dude makes some great music. Nice R&B. Nostalgia.Ultra was dope. I don’t like him as much as I like The Weeknd or Trey Songz, but dude is pretty talented.”

    *AFTER Frank Ocean came out.*

    Me: “Man, this Frank Ocean dude makes some great music. Nice R&B. Channel Orange looks like it’s gonna be dope. I don’t like him as much as I like The Weeknd or Trey Songz, but dude is pretty talented.”

    So, nothing really changes for me. As seen by the fact that Drake (*go ahead, insert typical “Drake is soft” retort*) is my second fav artist right now (behind Kanye) I care less about the masculinity of an artist. All I care is the quality of the music. If it’s great, I’m a fan.

    • That Ugly Kid

      Came out is supposed to be in quotes by the way.

    • Meisarebel

      This. Minus the Drake part. And not even tryna be funny.

      Nostalgia was my ish for a minute. There Will Be Tears still floats in my repeat list, and I can’t even relate to that. I just like the song. Period.

      I am wondering how this will affect the dynamics of Odd Future, but I assume that they had to have known before he made this public anyway. So kinda makes all their gay bashing seem, less, genuine? No? Dunno… But you get what I mean.

      • DQ

        Allegedly Tyler was as receptive as Tyler might be to hearing such news. I think I saw 2 tweets that were attributed to him that were mainly supportive of Frank (in a Tyler the Creator way)

        • Meisarebel

          Well look at that. And thanks to this new invention I just learnt about called Google, I read it first hand.

          Welp… That’s that.

      • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

        A lot of people have been wondering what’s up with Odd Future’s gay bashing for a while now, especially considering Syd Tha Kid, who is openly a lesbian, is with them. So this about Frank just makes those questions resonate even more.

        And we won’t even get into Odd Futures misogyny.

        • DQ

          They are more “conformity” bashing than anything else, meaning they deliberately say the things that you are “not supposed to say” for the sake of rebellion. I would not expect them to change their subject matter at all. They may be offensive but they are equal opportunity offensive. No one group is singled out, they attack any and everyone.

        • https://twitter.com/#!/IluminatiNYC Todd

          CHUUUUCH!

      • That Ugly Kid

        Yea, I read what Tyler The Creator wrote in support of Frank. I like Odd Future. Mainly for Earl Sweatshirt, Tyler, Frank Ocean, and Domo Genesis. Odd Future is one of my fav groups out there. Not on Black Hippy’s level or even YMCMB. But they are certainly better than MMG. I don’t understand why they’re so popular.