The Closet And The Status Quo II

Frank Ocean, a member of the hip-hop collective Odd Future, came out yesterday. Alyssa Rosenberg reflects on the meaning of Ocean's admission that his first love was a man:

[V]isibility is the long-term death of bias. I don’t really think that Odd Future will be the wheel that turns the entire ship of hip-hop (or R&B, the genre which Frank is more rooted in) here. It was never going to be that a major talent in a musical genre came out and the next day we woke up to the bloom of a thousand gay and gay-positive mix tapes. That’s too much freight to place on any one person, and far too much to expect of an entrenched industry with well-established norms, even if those norms do that genre harm.

A reader celebrates the good news:

Up-and-coming R&B singer Frank Ocean's coming out of the closet is a huge topic in the black community right now, especially amongst young people. Being that my generation is already more open-minded about this than the previous generations and the huge Obama announcement from six weeks ago, I think this is just another step in exorcising the homophobia in the black community. Here’s a pretty thorough post on it along with his coming-out letter.

From that post by Necole Bitchie:

To catch you up to speed, there were reports that surfaced earlier this week by a blogger that had heard Frank’s upcoming ‘Channel Orange’ album.  She claimed that there were at least 3 tracks on the LP where Frank sang about being in love while using the word, ‘Him’ instead of ‘her’ and she commended him for being so honest.

[July 4th], in the wee hours of the morning, Frank Ocean posted a letter to his tumblr titled, ‘Thank You’s’ as confirmation that there was some truth in her story.   In the very powerful open letter, that was written in December 2011, Frank detailed a story of meeting a guy when he was 19 and eventually falling in love. It was his very first love and that love is what inspired the lyrics of quite a few of his records. He also reveals in the ‘Thank you’ letter (that may very well be included with his album) that he doesn’t have any secrets that need to be kept anymore and he now feels as though he is a free man.

Read Ocean's letter here. Above is a revealing song from his new album. Last year we posted a music video from a closeted Ocean.