You Claim Frank Ocean But He Ain’t Claiming You
When he dropped that vague Tumblr letter online, the gay community embraced Frank Ocean faster than Elmyra Duff in an episode of Tiny Toons Adventures. They grabbed his ambiguous ass and said, “He’s Gay! He’s one of us! I knew it all along! I’m gonna hug you and kiss you and love you forever and never use you up!”
Say what you will about Cypher Avenue, agree with our opinions or not, but we at least do our small part for the gay community. We’ve done exclusive interviews with gays and we’ve been interviewed by gays. We’ve gone to Gay Parties and Gay Prides to promote and we’ve supported gay film festivals with cold hard cash. We give advice to gay people in need or we point them in the right direction if we can’t help them. We get called everything in the book just for mentioning feminine men, but what about the people like Frank Ocean who DON’T ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THEY EXIST AT ALL?!
What good is a (tangentially) gay man being your spokesperson if he’s not even embracing the community, speaking for you or even speaking to you? I can maybe understand this distancing from “the gays” if a person was still closeted, but gays keep telling me that Frank’s Out, it’s a done deal.
Look, this isn’t just about Frank Ocean. This applies to more people than just him. As much as I love Don Lemon, has he spoken with or responded to any gay publication or gay group since he stopped his book tour? Anderson Cooper could also fall under this umbrella. When Wanda Sykes came out, that beautiful woman became a strong visible voice in the Lesbian community while still retaining her Straight fan base as well. When Ricky Martin came out, he went out of his way to contribute to the gay cause. These are just a couple examples of people who deserve to be labeled as a spokesperson or representative.
These previously mentioned men, including Frank Ocean, seem unwilling to join the traveling gay circus. I can actually respect that choice. As a gay man, I can understand a person not wanting to be “The Face of Gay.” It’s one thing I hold true. Some of us don’t really care to be defined by our sexuality. I see Wolf Blitzer, I don’t think, “he’s a heterosexual news anchor.”The problem is other gays don’t seem to want to respect their choice for discretion. They either want to drag you out of the closet or drag you onto a stage. So I actually respect Frank Ocean’s decision to not want to be confined into a gay box, to be labeled/defined by sexuality. I just wish everyone else respected that as well.
To be really inclusive, let’s also discuss the obsessive love gays have with known homophobes. So many gays flock to and support these men it boggles my mind. Chris Brown is the first obvious choice, but I can name many other rappers and athletes who either haven’t been friendly to gays or they’ve used homophobic language in a song or during a game. The rationale: “He didn’t really mean it and besides that, he’s cute,” these gay supporters seem to say.It’s like a battered woman syndrome. The man beats them up yet they still run back to him. Maybe that’s why they support Breezy.
So why do these gay men support so many people that don’t support them back or even acknowledge them really? Here are some possible answers:
Yes many gay men are whores, even just mentally. There’s something about being a fan of a sexy model/actor/athlete that makes their taints tingle, no matter how homophobic the man may be. Oh, they may not actually buy the album, but they’ll still ride out to the music and go to the concerts. They’ll send countless of Twitter replies HOPING AND PRAYING that one day he will send a reply or (happy birthday) a ReTweet. They’ll then take screenshots of that and post it on their Instagram accounts: “Yay, he’s your boyfriend now!” Get real. If one of their numerous chest tattoos isn’t “NO H8” its likely they will never acknowledge you and your gay cause.
THEIR AGENDA DOESN’T REQUIRE RECIPROCAL SUPPORT
Let’s face it, many gays (especially Caucasian gays) don’t care about anything but their agenda. Like a midnight release of new Jordans, they will shove aside their own gay brethren if it’ll get them closer to Hetero acceptance. So what better way to accomplish this than to lump as many people that heteros love into their camp as possible, even if said individuals don’t want to be their representative. He played a gay character in a movie?! Add him to the list! Gay Power 100!
Maybe it’s because the gays don’t like the level of celebrity that many Out gay men, who are willing to be representatives, currently have. They feel the need to pull at loose threads of more famous people. For example, we are big fans of Lasto, Kaoz, Derrick L Briggs and the creators of The DL Chronicles Deondray Gossett and Quincy LeNear. These are men who have been Out for quite some time and they actually DESIRE to be representatives and Gay personalities. Why don’t they have even 1/100th of the Gay Twitter and Facebook follows that Frank Ocean has? These men are actually contributing to the Gay community and embracing everyone within it. Yet for some reason, the people have said, “No thanks, bring on the more famous person who won’t even look in my direction.”
Or it could be a combination of all of these options. Who knows. Gay men are damaged creatures. Sometimes we only see and hear what makes us feel happy or sad or outraged. Never much in between. For now, I’ll take Frank Ocean at his (unspoken) word that he’s not Gay…or maybe is…or not…whatever. Same goes for any other athlete or celebrity who says he’s not gay, no matter how many incriminating photos are released. The reason is there are WAY TOO many men out there actually willing to say the words and assist the community…why should I focus on the people that just turn up their Beats By Dre headphones to block out the shouts of gay people pathetically trying to get their attention.
Some readers will scrunch up their faces and say, “leave my baby Frank Ocean alone, you’re just jealous Nick.” Okay, here’s a test. If he’s really your boy, send him a tweet from your Gay Twitter account and let me know when he responds. I’ll wait.Now send a Tweet to one of the Gay people I listed 3 paragraphs ago and let me know when they respond. That quickly, huh? Imagine that.
– Nick D
EDIT: There seems to be confusion with some with me saying its okay for Frank Ocean to be Discreet and still point out that he hasn’t embraced the gay community. All I’m saying is why put him on all these Lists and Awards and pedestal for coming out as Gay if Frank Ocean doesn’t even want to be identified as Gay? Lets not label him or put him in to a box, fine…Okay, so he’s not Gay, he’s not Bisexual…Or if he is but wants to stay private about his sexuality, lets respect that. Then lets give these “coming out” accolades to people who DO want to be identified as Gay. People who are not so ambiguous about their sexuality.
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