A mixture of triumph and anger sparked through my mind on today. Last night I read an open letter published by singer/songwriter Frank Ocean on his Tumblr page. The letter, written back in December, disclosed some very personal details about a past lover, which happened to be of the same sex. Of course, this stirred a media frenzy unlike any other and the responses to such news were quite interesting to read.
Not sure about you, but I don't very often read about artists (who are very well-known, listened to, and respected in the African-American community) speak out or share details about their, for whatever reason, controversial, sexual orientation. I believe that part of the reason is because, well, quite frankly, it's nobody's fucking business. Throughout my trials and journeys of life thus far, I've learned that love is sacred. The feeling is much stronger than the word. If you've ever felt love before, you know exactly what I mean. The piercing feeling you get when you see tears rolling down the cheeks of the woman who introduced you to this troubled, yet beautiful atmosphere we call Earth. The immortal feeling you get when your favorite song sends chills up your spine, and the sounds create an only-psychological underlying platform that makes you feel as if you're floating. The celestial feeling you get when another human being has the ability to make your heart send your brain messages that it cannot quite understand or dissect, yet it ultimately satisfies your soul like nothing else can. That, is the feeling of love. Whether you feel this way towards a sound, a sight, a piece of art, or another soul, you understand that you did not choose to feel this way. A such divine and profound feeling as such should be cherished if you ask me. I'll explain...
Unfortunately, we inhale the air of a society where being attracted to the same sex is still not socially acceptable. That feeling of satisfaction, transcendentality, and pure happiness is one that is only to be sought and found in a set of humans already chosen before you are able to choose for yourself. This brings me to the other part of the reason why I feel I don't come across stories like these very often. For everyday citizens of society and celebrity figures alike, opening up about your contrary-to-norm sexuality creates a realm of judgment, discrimination, harassment, and hatred. Sounds like racism, huh? (I'll digress really fast, because that's another subject of double-standards and blatant contradiction that I'll save for another post).
Nevertheless, I've read numerous responses to Frank's letter, including "I can't listen to Frank's music anymore," or, "I'm deleting his shit off my iTunes." :| His sexual orientation is merely just a fragment of his being. It in no way, shape, or form takes away (or adds to) his level of creativity and talent. For those in the balcony, it doesn't have shit to do with his artistry nor his character. If your new-found knowledge that Frank is attracted to the same sex affects the way you hear his music or see him as a person, something is truly wrong with you. Bravery never goes out of fashion...ignorance does, however.
Cheers to Frank, you are another notable brave and inspirational soul, (one that I can relate to on not just a musical standpoint) who's proven that contrary to popular belief, notoriety and authenticity do not equate. We are all alike in that we feel and we love. Luckily, despite society's wicked ways and "rules" that may never see a change, some of us have grown into a place of comfort and realization that the ones who really matter, will accept you for who you really truly are.
You see, we (humans) cannot control love. As often as we sometimes wish, there is no remote control button for it. We cannot tell it when to slow down, when to rewind to a moment we enjoyed, or when to stop. Love can build and love can destroy. Love is not a game or a song, therefore it should not be defined or judged by text or opinion. Be willing to be who you are because no one else can be you, and love like the apocalypse is, in fact, happening in 5 months. We all deserve to be happy.
Happy Independence Day, folks.