11 comments on “Reaction to Frank Ocean (I been thinking ’bout you…you know know know…)

  1. I had a reaction along these lines to reading Lacan, I think it was, in TC’s history of the body class. Someone asserted that the way we love someone is always already determined by what we have imbibed from social mores and categories around us. I was trying to argue for a pre-linguistic, body-first reaction of feelings and emotions–and maybe even actions–that didn’t have a name except love. That “I love you” is a possibility and not just “I am a white, cis-gendered, hetero-identifying woman experiencing what society calls ‘love’ for you, a white, cis-gendered, hetero-identifying man” (in my case). Thanks for your thoughts, Kwame. (And enjoy the snuggles! 😉

  2. Great response… we’d all be damned if he was to be on the cover of the advocate or out mag next month. It was too lazy, too oversimplifying to call this a “coming out.” Frank Ocean is a storyteller. He told one hell of a story. A short yet complex one. A haunting one.

    “time would glide… i would hear his conversation and his silence. Until it was time to sleep. Sleep I would often share with him…. But by the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant…”

    I. Died. Frank Ocean is a Toni Morrison fan, I am dead sure of that. I love him even more now.

  3. “So I’m preemptively annoyed about inevitable attempts by gay liberals to get Frank Ocean to “work” on the rest of the “black community.” Please do not draft Frank Ocean into labor for your political project, the man has enough work on his plate right now.”

    How Dare You? You act as if there are no Black Gay Folks, like somehow the Gay community is exclusively white. News Flash:We come in all shapes, sizes, genders, colors, and ethnicities!

    Here is a rare opportunity for the Gay community AND the Historically Homophobic Hip Hop Community to begin to understand each other. Here is a perfect opportunity for education. Here is a perfect opportunity to address the “Down Low” mentality.
    Like it or not, Frank Ocean Came Out as having feelings for another man. The Historically Homophobic Hip Hop community is already branding him with six letter “F” words.

    I won’t presume to know what Mr. Ocean’s sexual orientation is. BUT, I WILL support his courage to be truthful to his spirit!

    I also will NOT put up with ANY attacks on the Gay Community! What does your comment, “Anderson Cooper’s weak-tea outing” even mean? Talk about Homophobic!

    We aren’t perfect. But, we’ll Never get there without the same understanding and considerations that everyone else expects. This is Not the time for infighting. This is a time for education.

    • First of all, pump your brakes. Of course there are black gay folks, I’m a black gay folk. As is my writing partner John. My point is that gay politics, as it has been defined in the public sphere, tends to be predominately white, and tends to attack hip-hop and the black community as if they were the only sources of homophobia in our society. As Son of Baldwin has pointed out, every single anti-gay law in this country was passed by white people, so why is it that the black community needs to “work on” homophobia? What I don’t like is when gay liberal movements draft queers of color to work for their political projects but remain silent on issues of racial justice. And, as many brilliant scholars have pointed out, predominately white gay liberals have been complicit in policing strategies that disproportionately impact people of color and black people in particular. That is an essential part of what defines gay politics. I suggest you look up the scholarship of Christina Hanhardt on this topic. Your suggestion that “the gay community” and the “hip hop community” already prefigures the two as oppositional.

      The discourse of “coming out” also relies upon a logic of visibility and legibility, and as I have argued in my work, gayness often only becomes visible and legible against a black backdrop. I.E. white gays within predominately black/people of color neighborhoods. Black gay people often remain invisible within “coming out” narratives, because their racial identity subsumes sexual difference. No matter how you slice it, coming out is a narrative that was crafted for and makes the most sense for white and middle class LGBT people. And most importantly, Frank (being a smart guy) purposefully chose not to use that language. That should be respected. Thanks for your comment though and please follow us on twitter! @KwameHolmes @Hegemon

      • I think the “established” gay community takes issue with the persistent use of the six letter F word within the Hip Hop culture.
        Yes, anti gay laws are passed by white lawmakers. But there are many in the black community who would see us slaughtered in the streets. I’ve been gay bashed by both black and white groups. (Odd, how it’s always a group.) But somehow it seems to hurt more emotionally when being attacked by another minority group.
        Perhaps the mistake we make (the white LGBT community) is comparing the gay struggle to that of the African American community. I’ve experienced anti-gay violence and isolation, but would never compare my struggle to that of those who were bought and sold as property.

        My initial issue was, and still is, with painting Anderson Cooper’s coming out as weak. Sure, everyone kinda knew. But I think he was under pressure from CNN. As with anything, if you want to keep your job, you tow the line.

        That being said, Frank Ocean’s honesty is to be applauded, And supported. If for no other reason than to show young black gay teenagers that it’s okay to be themselves.

        I am ill equipped to comment fully about the invisibility of the black gay coming out process. It would be insulting to those going through it if I did. Instead, all I can do is listen. Perhaps some day sexual orientation won’t be such a huge issue.

        Whether Frank Ocean comes out as gay or not isn’t important. He is his own man. Neither he nor Anderson Cooper should be used as a tool for anyone’s gain.

        Thanks for letting me rant along in apparent randomness. Communication is important.

        The ruling class gains power when the rest of us fight amongst ourselves.

  4. This post does a good job of pointing out the hypocrisy and racism of the white gay community. I hope and pray Frank 0cean lives his truth and does not allow those racist white gay organizations such as GLAAD or HRC to get to him. Frank is brave though that is for sure and I wish him well.

  5. Kind of creates a false dichotomy between and “gay liberalism” and the African American community, implying that people like you, me and your co-blogger (who like Frank Ocean AND penis) don’t exist. What’s more, it de-emphasizes this ridiculously important moment — a black male recording artist has just said he fell in love with a man. That’s a big fucking deal, and something that would have been unheard of even ten years ago, let alone at the beginning of the hip-hop movement. The fact that such a statement is possible without massive backlash is the direct result the activism and hard work of the ‘gay liberals’ the author so callously derides.

    Now, Frank Ocean may not be gay, or bi or even currently curious, and it would be dangerous for any media to define his sexuality for him. However, we also shouldn’t pretend like this isn’t a genre of coming out story, and what’s more, a big fucking deal.

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