It’s been quite a week for celebrities in the LGBT community. First, news anchor and talk show host Anderson Cooper finally acknowledged that the rumor that has followed him for years is true: he’s gay. Now, hip hop star Frank Ocean has revealed that he’s bisexual.
Though Cooper is a bigger star and will get most of the media attention for his story, Ocean’s is far more compelling. Coming out in the world of liberal media and talk shows isn’t quite the same thing as coming out in the world of rap. Not even close.
Ocean wrote a letter about his bisexuality and posted it on his Tumblr. He had apparently planned to publish the letter in the liner notes of his debut solo album, Channel Orange, which is due to be released later this month. However, reports about his sexuality began to leak and he decided to address the whole thing now.
In the letter, Ocean reveals that his first love, at age 19, was with a man. He should be applauded for his courage. The world of hip hop is one of the least forgiving, when it comes to acceptable of homosexuality. Rappers still toss out ant-gay slurs in their lyrics like it’s nothing. Heck, Ocean is a member of the hip hop collective Odd Future, a group that was just kicked out of a major music festival because of their homophobic lyrics.
Will Ocean’s story mark the beginning of a change in attitudes in the world of hip hop? One can hope.