Music R&B

Frank’s LGBTQ+ Experience From His Side of the Ocean

 

Christopher Edwin Breaux, who changed his legal name to Christopher Francis Ocean (aka Frank Ocean) in 2015, is a mainstream LGBTQ+ singer, songwriter, rapper, record producer, and photographer. Ocean was born in Long Beach, California but grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. The singer came out in 2012 when he published an open letter on Tumblr telling the public about the feelings he had for another man which he addressed as his “first love.” Despite the homophobia embedded in the hip-hop community, Ocean received a lot of support from legends within the community like Jay-Z and Beyoncé. To close the letter, Ocean wrote that he “[felt] like a free man.” 

Frank Ocean usually puts out idiosyncratic R&B music, with a few rap songs from time to time. He got some recognition from the mixtape Nostalgia, Ultra that was released in 2011 but he rose to fame through his debut album, Channel Orange, released in 2012. His most recent album, released in 2016, Blonde provided his fans with 17 songs woven with beautiful poetry and unique sounds in each song. Overall, Frank Ocean is a very talented singer and songwriter. However, if you’re a Frank Ocean fan like me, the only problem you and thousands of others may have with the singer is how long he takes to release his albums, although they’re worth the wait once it’s released.

Through his music and through his writings on different social media platforms, Ocean has showed tremendous support for the LGBTQ+ community. For example, when the Orlando shooting happened, Ocean took to Tumblr again to write about the struggles that the LGBTQ+ community face everyday. In the blog, Ocean writes:

Many are annoyed by our wanting to be married like everyone else or use the correct restroom like everyone else. Many don’t see anything wrong with passing down the same old values that send thousands of kids into suicidal depression each year. … We are all God’s children, I heard.

He’s recognizing the issue of hate that’s implemented in homophobia, but then counters that with the fact that we’re all equal, no matter what our sexual preference or gender identity is. In his latest album in particular, he shines a light on his personal life with a man that took him to a gay bar in the song “Good Guy.” The song, as well as the rest of the album, is used to bridge the gap between the LGBTQ+ community and the heterosexual community in an effort to embrace rather than discourage these differences in sexual preference.

Original header image via Frank Ocean’s Tumblr

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