The big news this week was Anderson Cooper, someone who people have assumed was gay for ages, officially came out in a letter written to the Daily Beast. The bigger news, to me and to hip hop, is R&B artist and Odd Future member Frank Ocean coming out.
I can’t think of a young black male artist in his prime ever coming out as gay. Even Luther Vandross, an R&B singer who everyone thought was gay, died without ever talking about it. Frank Ocean’s album comes out in two weeks. There are no words to describe how brave that is. One major thing that Anderson Cooper and Frank Ocean have in common is they both came out using social media.
A few days ago there was online speculation about Frank Ocean’s sexuality based on lyrics from his new album. Instead of having to go on a talk show or release a statement through his publicist, he went to his Tumblr page and wrote a letter. In the letter he writes about his first love, who was a man.
Social media has been both a good and bad resource for celebrities. Using Twitter or blogs celebrities are able to control their image and speak directly to their fans without having to go through the traditional media, which is what Anderson Cooper and Frank Ocean were able to do. The downside to that is celebrities have no filter and there are countless examples of stars getting in to major trouble for inappropriate tweets.
Social media like blogs and Twitter allow people to speak from the heart and be themselves. I sometimes write things on my blog that I don’t feel comfortable talking about in real life. By Frank Ocean writing about the strong feelings of his first love, he’s able to connect with everyone who has felt that way, no matter what.
From what I saw the reaction on social media was mostly positive. The most common response I read was he’s a great singer and songwriter and people are going to keep supporting his music no matter what. That’s the most important thing.
For a better, well written, emotional piece about Frank Ocean by dream hampton click here.