SILENCE = CONSENT

Frank Ocean: Say You’re Bi, and the Queers will Buy

Last night I had the opportunity to listen to Frank Ocean’s cd “Channel Orange”.  As I listened to the his lyrics, his voice, his passion, all sorts of questions started to run through my head.

Did he ever come out as gay or bisexual?  Did he ever say anything more than, “I was in love with a man”?  Is his courageous transparency about his personal life his way of reaching out to young people who are dealing with issues surrounding their sexuality?  Is he a trailblazer who is changing the rabidly homophobic landscape of hip hop and R&B music?  Is he being forced to be a “gay role model”?  Was he simply just creatively telling his story, or is all of the hubbub over this cd a clever marketing plan called “Say you’re bi, and queers will buy”?

Personally, I appreciate Frank’s artistry, his creativity and his courage.  I applaud his lyricism.  I celebrate his being open and honest about such a personal experience.  It takes a level of intestinal fortitude most black men don’t have.  In a social climate where hyper-masculinity abounds, and outright hatred and disrespect for anything feminine outside of meeting the sexual needs of irrationally afraid little boys in men’s clothes, Frank Ocean made a move that for many would ruin their careers.

But for me, it’s hard to tell if Mr. Ocean is truly an artist who has a message.  I suppose I will just have to wait and see what happens after all the fairy dust settles.  I’d like to think this talented young man lives his life with boldness and integrity.  It would be refreshing to find out that there are prominent  people in the hip hop and R&B music scenes, who when around their fellow artists, will stand up and check them on their ignorant homophobia.  He could actually be knocking down the walls that have kept people like Mz. Fontaine. Katastrophe, DaLyrical, Tori Fixx, Deep Dickollective, Deadlee and countless others from experiencing main stream acceptance for being brilliant artists.

Me being me, I have to question if Frank Ocean’s “I was in love with a man” revelation him just being authentically Frank, or if he is being used by a clever marketing machine to pimp the LGBTQ community for their dollars.

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