By: Chris O'Shea
Earlier this month,CNN's Anderson Cooper officially acknowledged that he was gay. But did you hear about the other recent big coming out?
Over the weekend, Frank Ocean, a member of the hip-hop group Odd Future, sort of, kind of, came out of the closet. Ocean did this by posting a letter on his blog detailing his first love; a love for a man. Naturally, the hip-hop community, which hasn't exactly been supportive of homosexuality or bisexuality, had plenty to say about Ocean's revelation.
Surprisingly, most of the comments have been supportive. Russell Simmons wrote that it was a defining moment for the musical genre, and that Ocean's courage would give strength to others. "Your decision to go public about your sexual orientation gives hope and light to so many young people still living in fear," said Simmons, on Global Grind. "These types of secrets should not matter anymore, but we know they do, and because of that I decided to write this short statement of support for one of the greatest new artists we have."
Another industry powerhouse, Beyonce, showed support for Ocean too. "The amount of confidence and fearlessness it takes to do what maybe is not what your parents expect you to do or what society may think is different — to be brave and be different and to be yourself — is just so beautiful," wrote the songstress. Flea, the bassist of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, wweeted his support for Ocean's decision as well.
And it wasn't just musicians backing Ocean. Celebrities such as Johnny Knoxville and RuPaul expressed their appreciation. Ebro Darden, the program director for Hot 97, the iconic hip-hop radio station in New York City, said he will continue to play Ocean's music. "Hot 97 has supported Frank Ocean since before his record label knew what to do with him, and we will continue to," Darden told The New York Times. "I hope people judge him based on his music, not personal preferences."
Before we get ahead of ourselves and declare homophobia dead in hip-hop, there are signs that not everyone is excited. We still have yet to hear from Jay-Z, Kanye West, or any other icons in the game. Then there was the comments on hip-hop blogs, which were overwhelmingly negative, and some were downright nasty. There was also this nonsensical comment from rapper Lil Scrappy: "I'm glad that he came out... so all the real women that love to mess with real men, straight men, we can keep the AIDS situation down, you feel me?"
Perhaps the best reaction came from Ocean's fellow band member, who goes by the stage name Tyler The Creator. He tweeted "My Big Brother Finally Fucking Did That. Proud Of That Nigga Cause I Know That Shit Is Difficult Or Whatever. Anyway. Im A Toilet." We couldn't have said it better ourselves.
[Pic via Wikimedia Commons - Sweisscheese]