None-of-your-business years ago, when I was in college, I hooked up with a couple of ridiculously lucky girls. Yeah, you heard me! A hetero college girl made out with another hetero college girl. THIS REALLY HAPPENED. Even though in retrospect, I was clearly fulfilling the prophecy that all liberal art babes shall lezz out, at the time it felt daring and edgy. Who knows what I’ll do next, get a tattoo? Smoke pot at a party? Anything could happen.
But joking aside, experimenting with women was actually really confusing. Does this mean I’m a lesbian? Am I going to have to come out? How am I supposed to act now? I was terrified for days. The thought of being outside the accepted “norm” of society was overwhelming. Soon after my same sex trysts, I realized I wasn’t actually lesbian (surprise to no one!). I was just having adventures and trying new things. But I’ll never forget that fear around the idea of coming out.
I can’t even imagine the kind of courage it takes for someone like Frank Ocean, the biggest name in R&B right now, to come out of the closet. I’ve known about Frank Ocean
for years since last week when he blew up the internet. I was totally captivated by the story: First important black hip-hop artist in history to come out. Gay-mazing! But what surprised me even more was his music. Holy shrimp this guy is talented!
How could I even describe his music? If Stevie Wonder and Justin Timberlake had a baby somehow (stay with me) and they put it up for adoption because they couldn’t afford to raise it (what?), and then D’Angelo adopted it, but was a single working father, so he had to hire the ghost of Curtis Mayfield to be the nanny—that baby would be Frank Ocean. His music is soulful, emotional and sexy as hell. To quote a youtube commenter responding to his performance on Jimmy Fallon, “Not a dry vagina in the house.”
Regardless of his sexuality though, Frank Ocean is simply a major talent. Even the tumblr post he wrote about falling in love with a man for the first time was beautiful. He writes, “We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost. And on the days we were together, time would glide.” You can’t help but feel nostalgic about your first love when you read it. Unless you’re a sociopath and you’ve never felt love, in which case, it’s like the first time you killed a cat.
Thankfully, Ocean has been flooded with support not only from the gay community, but from heavy hitters in the hip hop world, as well. Russell Simmons wrote a touching article saying, “Frank, we thank you. We support you. We love you.” Beyonce also stepped up to the plate publishing a well-meaning, but truly god-awful poem on her website. In other huge news, Beyonce is not good at everything! I love that mythical creature just like everyone else, but she should stick to wobbly, complicated singing and leave the poetry writing to mere mortals.
With LGBT support now coming from as high up as Google and President Obama (in order of importance), we are witnessing a major sea change. While half the country still believes that gays are sinners, science is a Jewish conspiracy and subsidized health care is Stalinism, the other half is moving forward. We are in the swan song of institutionalized homophobia and moments like Frank Ocean coming out are helping to close the gap between human rights and gay rights. Ocean writes, “I don’t know what happens now, and that’s alrite. I don’t have any secrets I need kept anymore. I’m a free man.” Amen. Ocean is going to be remembered for a lot of things, but coming out will be just one of them.