Why I Was Right About FRANK OCEAN
I rightly disagreed with both accusations, reconciling the negative reaction to the fact that I pissed on everyone’s party. My post was ill-timed. I admit that now. On the very morning that gays across the rainbow flagged land were applauding Frank Ocean for his “courage,” I was the lone voice of dissent.
He was our new hero. Even though many gay people had barely paid him much attention prior to his coming Out, he had become the most important Black Gay man in the world. I was seen as the guy writing about Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s extramarital affairs just an hour after the “I Have A Dream” speech…Raining on the parade. Fuck you, Nick Delmacy.
Then I read a new exclusive interview with Frank Ocean that seemed to vindicate my original opinions.
As I look at photos of Frank Ocean I keep staring at them trying to determine if I actually think he’s attractive (I’ll get to why this is relevant in a second). By all accounts he not “sexy”, he’s a pretty average looking man (the same could be said for me so that’s not an insult). Eventually, after looking at his pictures for about 10 minutes, I said to myself, “Well…If he wasn’t a celebrity, I wouldn’t NOT try to make moves on him if I saw him at a house party…but then again I wouldn’t be disappointed if after conversation I discovered he was straight.” What that means is I really only think he’s somewhat attractive now that I KNOW that he’s gay.
I say all that because this is a direct analogy for The Gays’ sudden embracing of Frank Ocean. The fact that they now KNOW he’s gay is the primary reason that my twitter timeline still displays Frank Ocean mentions when they NEVER mentioned him before. So knowing that he’s gay means that he’s protected (like in the Mob), and Nick Delmacy crossed the line on his little divisive internally homophobic blog.
To summarize my previous theories on Frank Ocean: He knowingly “chilled” with a dude who had a girlfriend, going as far as to express his feelings for the guy while crying in a Nissan Maxima. I further speculated that this was not Frank’s first rodeo and that he’d known he had sexual/emotional feelings for men long before that tear filled day. No man would literally CRY for a dude (in front of him) if these were new feelings and intimacy had NOT been involved at all, especially in modern times. I say that because I’ve been there. I speak from experience. True, losing a close friend to death or distance can be painful, but those hypothetical situations weren’t the case here. He felt pain from the feelings of lost and/or unrequited love…but I’m to believe they were just 100% heterosexual homeboys the whole time leading up to that?!
Then this interview with Frank Ocean by The Guardian was released yesterday. While Ocean still never flat out says the words “I’m Gay” he makes it clear that he’s been gay for a long, long time. Here’s an excerpt:
Though he thinks of himself as existing outside of conventional music genres – and the broad ambition of new album Channel Orange touches on everything from Marvin Gaye to Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix – Ocean’s roots are in R&B and hip-hop, neither of which are known for their nurturing attitude towards the rainbow flag.
Which makes what he just did seem remarkably courageous. “I don’t know,” he demurs, looking down. “A lot of people have said that since that news came out. I suppose a percentage of that act was because of altruism; because I was thinking of how I wished at 13 or 14 there was somebody I looked up to who would have said something like that, who would have been transparent in that way. But there’s another side of it that’s just about my own sanity and my ability to feel like I’m living a life where I’m not just successful on paper, but sure that I’m happy when I wake up in the morning, and not with this freakin’ boulder on my chest.”
Yeah…right. He said the words, used the correct pronouns, live with it…
Actually, him recognizing same sex feeling as a 13 or 14 year old makes a lot more sense than this: He’s a 100% straight 19-year-old man who spends an entire PLATONIC summer with a “friend” but realizes by the end of the summer that he’s in love…JUST in time to tearfully pour out his feelings for the person just as he’s about to leave the city for good…I wonder if it was raining at the time too.
That bullshit sounds like the premise for a chick flick starring Renée Zellweger. A bad one at that since there seems to be no sex or intimacy involved.
As much as I wanted to deny it in college, I had an clear idea that my feelings of admiration for other men had started way back in middle school. The more I denied or repressed those feelings, the stronger they grew. Talking to other men, this is the case for them as well. MOST of us know by the middle or high school, at the latest.
Feminine Gay Men are not to blame for stereotypes like this AT ALL. Tameka Raymond’s ignorant tweet stating that “Gay men that LOOK str8 should wear bright wristbands ‘Cause this really isn’t fair” is a result of MASCULINE men deceiving black women and using them as “beards” to hide the fact that they are gay/bisexual. Masculine Gay Men who knowingly push up on attached women-dating men for sex, companionship or relationships add fuel to this fire.
This is what I originally theorized with Frank Ocean’s tale (if its even true at all, he is a writer capable of creating fiction). If you take his story and add his own admission that he was a 14 year old wishing there was an example like the Out 24-year-old version of himself speaking publicly, that means he’s known that he was attracted to men for at least six years prior to that fateful day in the Nissan. At least six prior to beginning his friendship with the man who had a girlfriend that was unaware that her boyfriend’s best friend was downstairs in a car hoping to steal him from her.
So given what we’ve learned (and will continue to learn) about Ocean, I feel vindicated that while ill-timed, my criticism is proving to be a no less important addition to the overall conversation.
– Nick D
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