Jul 05, 2012 10:57AM

Reactions to Frank Ocean's Coming Out

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

We reported yesterday that rapper and Odd Future member Frank Ocean had come out via a letter posted to his Tumblr. Because the world wide web is such a large and scary place, especially in times of announcements of queerness, let us now break down the who, what, and WTF of Frank Ocean commentary.

First up, we have Def Jam records co-founder Russell Simmons who wrote a blog post called, 'The Courage of Frank Ocean Just Changed the Game!'. He writes from the heart, saying:

"Today is a big day for hip-hop. It is a day that will define who we really are ... I am profoundly moved by the courage and honesty of Frank Ocean. Your decision to go public about your sexual orientation gives hope and light to so many young people still living in fear. 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."

Not all comments by music-types were that optimistic, however. Country singer Chely Wright (the first openly gay star in her genre) has talked about Frank's news in relation to her own coming out, to TMZ. She explains that her album sales dropped to a third of what they were before her coming out, and that certain venues no longer book her because they don't want to risk a protest. She still commends Frank though, and says he's forging a path for other artists to follow, saying, "I can't think of a better way for Frank to celebrate Independence Day."

Complex puts Frank's coming out in the context of other musician's who have come out, citing a few examples, like David Bowie who outed himself as bi in a Melody Maker interview in 1972, but later said it was the "biggest mistake I ever made." And gay icon Ellen DeGeneres, who came out in 1997 after which her ratings dropped off the charts and then took years to get her career back on track. And other icons like Elton John, George Michael and Freddie Mercury, who only came out once they were well and truly established in music and comfortable enough to deal with the possible backlash.

Frank's Odd Future cohorts were along the first to support him (despite being constantly criticised for their use of homophobic lyrics):

Earl Sweatshirt summarised his feelings as succinctly as a Mum using SMS:

And even though Tyler, The Creator (who we interviewed for Oyster #98) uses the word "faggot" a lot, he too took to Twitter to publicly support Frank:

Other musicians also tweeted support for Frank, such as Chromeo, Solange Knowles, A-Trak, and Action Bronson, as well as hip hop news website Missinfo.tv:

Chromeo:

Author/Journalist Dream Hampton:

The Incredibly Amazing Solange Knowles (who we interviewed for #96):

Grantland writer Rembert Browne:

Rapper Action Bronson:

Some sort of Canadian teenaged Chris Brown advocate:

Hot 97's Miss Info:

And, then of course, there were the random jerks:

We say screw the jerks, and big ups to Frank for making himself visible as a gay man, especially in mainstream hip hop culture where it's a rarity. We can't wait for his debut album to come out! (Channel Orange, set for release 17 July.)

Jerico Mandybur

Latest


Interview & Shoot: Ariel Pink

Shot by Dana Boulos in a discount store and a florist.


'Hot Felon' Threatens To Sue Over Action Figure

Not impressed with his tiny likeness.


Apple's Hiring Everyone In Luxury Fashion

Saint Laurent, Burberry, Nike and Tag Heuer staff all cross over.


Listen To Lorde's PJ Harvey & Fugazi-Influenced Highschool Album

And They Were Masked's album is online in full.


Oyster Playlist: Jungle

Life's a beach!


Album That Changed My Life: Seekae

The OutsideIn headliners on Arvo Pärt.


Behind The Scenes: Burberry's AW14 Campaign

Plus, there's an app that lets you paint your own collection!


Research: 'Twitter Psychosis' Is A Thing

Aka you are in a technology loop form which there is no escape.


Cam Girls Are Making More Ca$h Money Than You

Top online girls are earning $1 million per year.


Hear FKA Twigs' BBC1 Interview & Stream Her Album

Is she happy? "Yes." Is she secure? "Kind of."


Obama Covers Iggy Azalea's 'Fancy'

"I know I'm a little late."


Meet The Model: Natarsha @ IMG

Shot by Gavriel Maynard.


Interview: UK Designer Bobby Abley

On misinterpretation, inspiration and Disney (duh).


Oyster Playlist: Tkay Maidza's Fave Female Rappers

Plus, watch her new video for 'U-huh'


The Rap Sheet: August 2014 Edition

Some of the best arts events and parties around Sydney this month.


The Pope Tweets About Being Too Connected

Because "if you hoard material possessions, they will rob you of your soul."


Drake Defends His Double Denim Choices

And represents Rihanna as the devil in concert.


Kim Kardashian Talks Kanye's Wedding Speech And Changes Diapers

Plus, reveals Yeezy ordered takeaway food in jail.


Watch Azealia Banks' New Video 'Heavy Metal And Reflective'

Her first post-Universal release feat. Mad Max realness.


Gallery & Interview: Ren Hang's NSFW Photography

The notorious Chinese artist, uncensored.


4Chan Art Wank Sells For $90K On eBay

"Literally anything could be art. This post is art."


Studio Ghibli Isn't Quite Dead Yet

It's just taking a "brief pause."


Kathleen Hanna Is Converting Miley Cyrus To Riot Grrl

After Miley Instagrams a couple of iconic pictures and Kathleen hits her up.


Oyster Fashion: 'Brick' Shot By Hunter Ryan

"A concept for bring life back to the heart of a city."


Collection Survey: Celeste Tesoriero SS14/15

Gelato tones and an eco heart.


Dev Hynes & Samantha Urbani: We Were Assaulted At Lollapalooza

Reportedly jumped by security staff after giving a speech about racism and police brutality.