Boxes. Created to house materials and make our lives more convenient. In the music realm, boxes carry a heavy weight for non-conforming artists, thus making their artistic journey all but convenient. At the news of Frank Ocean’s highly publicized “coming out” (liberation) letter, I immediately thought of how emancipating it must be to not be confined to the stereotypical, one-dimensional, heteronormative ideals that we as a culture place on our stars.
With black males specifically, there has been a long lineage of artists whose ambiguous sexualities railed their success in some ways. The age-old question of “Is he or isn’t he?” has done little to make way for freedom, but held people captive in social bandage instead.
This issue is bigger than Frank Ocean, more widespread than the homophobia associated with the black community, and it goes far beyond music. Frank Ocean’s bravery is to be commended. He broke the monolithic codes, inspired countless souls, and became a game-changer. Rather than making this a gay vs. straight water-cooler topic, let’s use it as a way to embrace freedom and equality.
Thank you, Frank.