Yesterday, the twitter/music world was taken by storm with the news of media darling R&B singer Frank Ocean, confessing in a Tumblr post that he has in the past, been in love with a man, and has been struggling with his feelings for the man for years. The news came late last night and took the music world by storm with varied reaction. Many showcased their love for Ocean, and many, of course, shouted slurs and even began the ever-predictable Bible thumping. But my question today is why does it matter what his sexual orientation is?
A large chunk of his supporters are his fans, and others who have heard some of his music, and appreciate an artist of his caliber coming out revealing intimate details about his personal life. But what if Frank Ocean music was garbage? Would we still say the same? I'd say we wouldn't, because of the negative climate we live in. But that's not to take away from Ocean’s brave coming out party. It's just a point that we, to an extent still have work to do. It shouldn't matter if we like Frank Ocean’s music and that shouldn’t be our excuse to accept him. We should accept him for who he is, a man who did what many wouldn't, and also is exceptionally talented.
To stop playing Devil’s advocate to the question I asked in the paragraph above, we, as people, should focus on his art above anything. In my opinion, Frank Ocean is what R&B needed, the songwriting/structure we haven’t seen in some years, and as long as he continues to compose excellent music at an outstanding quality and quantity, what should it matter if his sexual preference doesn't match ours?
To close, there aren’t too many figures in the R&B/hip hop world that has come out with anything like this. Rumors don't count. If it did we would be talking about the likes of LL Cool J and Diddy all day. Kenny Greene, from the R&B group intro, passed away from AIDS in 2001. He also came out as bisexual that year, so to my knowledge he's the closest for a male, to coming out in urban music. Hopefully this will be the turning point for males in hip hop/R&B to come clean about their sexuality. Frank Ocean is a well-respected individual and in many ways, he's a trendsetter.