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05 July 2012



Go! Frank! Tell it like it is, young man. So cool.


Rod, I love you and your blog but I don't know about this one.

I'm wondering how, based on this letter, did Frank Ocean "come out"? Mr. Ocean admitted to a same sex attraction 4 or 5 years ago. It seems that the attraction was unreciprocated. Is he gay or bisexual? Is he going to tell us more about his 'orientation' as time goes on? It's sort of unclear at this point.

Anderson Cooper's "coming out", on the other hand, shows us how a successful, middle-aged, white gay man from an "old money" background can "come out" as gay and it's no big deal.

If Mr. Ocean crashes and burns, it will probably have a chilling effect on black gay men coming out in the music/entertainment industry for years to come.

I wish Mr. Ocean the best. I had never heard of him until several days ago but I will be buying his CD for sure.


Don't be so cynical elg. Frank's letter was an earnest confession of unrequited adolescent love that went beyond his sexuality. The purpose of the letter was to express him emotions, and he did so adequately. That's how the future needs to be, not some vain attempt by society to define someone by it's rigid limits. The real problem here is that everyone wants to define him FOR him, instead of actually paying attention to what he wrote.

And nothing is particularly courageous about: "a successful, middle-aged, white gay man from an "old money" background can "come out" as gay." That's damn near the blueprint for every celebrity coming out story for the past 30 years.

Greg G

ELG: Did you read the Ebony article? I don't think you did. I read it. It was excellent analysis. But I don't recall Rod saying that Ocean was "gay" or "bisexual".

But: It's understandable why some reporters would use those words ... because they have to write for the general public and a mostly non-LGBT audience.

I'm cosigning Cullen. Your response was cynical and you're looking for faults, quibbling with a headline or a few words in a lede. Applaud Frank Ocean for his honesty and courage. And you should applaud the iconic Ebony magazine for asking Rod to report on black LGBT news.

Also: for you to say that Cooper's coming out "was no big deal" ignores reality and the news cycle. Cooper's announcement was across cable, local and network news, newspapers, magazines, talk shows, blogs and international news. It is a huge news story.

That being said, there is nothing particularly courageous about a 40-ish, successful and ridiculously wealthy white gay man confirming what many people already knew. The young trans girls in the 'hood are courageous. Many of my friends are courageous to come out to their families and friends. Cooper just became the latest middle aged white gay celebrity to come out of their glass closet. Yawn.

Greg G

Rod: I never thought to ask this. Did you work at ABC News World News Now when Anderson Cooper was the anchor?
Sure did. That my start in network news. Worked w/ AC at WNN about 10 years ago. Fun times. AC is a great guy.-RM

Chitown Kev

I mean, who DIDN'T know that AC wasn't gay?

If that weren't already known, I think that AC's would be the bigger story but I don't consider that Anderson Cooper was ever really in the closet...he simply didn't talk about his love life.

Ocean, on the other hand, talks about his love for another man with an emotional depth that seems stunning for any man, much less a hip hop artist...I mean we aren't talking about a guy that simply like to have sex with other guy's...I think that's the shocking part.


AC coming out was certainly not too surprising but it is a bigger "name" for most Americans. The effect probably wasnt significant.

Frank claiming a love for another man was very surprising to most, even though he is not as well known. I dont think we'll know for a while how much of an impact his tumblr post will have on hip hop but the feedback from what I've read so far has been mostly positive and hopefully we'll see more new or "closeted" GLBT hip hop artists follow suit in the coming years.

I'm wondering what the guy Frank professed a love for feels like right now....


@ FFF: Beautiful comment and thoughts. Thank you.

@ Rod: Great article. Thanks, I'm so impressed that you're covering "our" stories for Ebony.

@ ELG: I'm cosigning Cullen and Greg. Five things immediately come to mind.

First, when someone starts off claiming that they always "love" so-so ... that screams "concern troll." And your comments clearly were trolling.

Second, Rod isn't writing for his "blog", he was writing for Ebony. R20 is a "blog" that targets black gay and lesbian issues. Ebony is a worldwide "magazine" read by millions. It's comparing apples/oranges and assuming that Ebony's audience would be familiar with black LGBT issues.

Third, it's obvious you didn't read the Ebony article. You're trolling around the phrase "coming out". That's your ONLY takeaway after reading the article? No comment about Darryl Stephens discussing why his coming out was difficult? Nothing about what Frank's revelation could mean to hip hop or other black men?

Four, "If Mr. Ocean crashes and burns, it will probably have a chilling effect on black gay men coming out" Yet you just said that Ocean DID NOT COME OUT. Thanks for admitting that he DID.

Five, your dismissing Cooper's coming out as "no big deal" and implying he was "courageous" speaks for itself.

This blog has become my required reading for many reasons. It's the only website that collects gay news from across the black diaspora, it's well written, and Rod writes for television and magazines, so he knows what he's talking about.

But the fact that Rod writes for television and magazines brings out haterz. Anytime that Rod does something high profile ... travels across the globe, speaks at a conference, writes for major magazines, appears in a book, whatever ... the comments always display the "crabs in a barrel syndrome" that black folks (and especially black gay men) have perfected. Sad but true.

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