Jul 05, 2012 10:57AM

Reactions to Frank Ocean's Coming Out

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

We reported yesterday that rapper and Odd Future member Frank Ocean had come out via a letter posted to his Tumblr. Because the world wide web is such a large and scary place, especially in times of announcements of queerness, let us now break down the who, what, and WTF of Frank Ocean commentary.

First up, we have Def Jam records co-founder Russell Simmons who wrote a blog post called, 'The Courage of Frank Ocean Just Changed the Game!'. He writes from the heart, saying:

"Today is a big day for hip-hop. It is a day that will define who we really are ... I am profoundly moved by the courage and honesty of Frank Ocean. Your decision to go public about your sexual orientation gives hope and light to so many young people still living in fear. These types of secrets should not matter anymore, but we know they do, and because of that I decided to write this short statement of support for one of the greatest new artists we have."

Not all comments by music-types were that optimistic, however. Country singer Chely Wright (the first openly gay star in her genre) has talked about Frank's news in relation to her own coming out, to TMZ. She explains that her album sales dropped to a third of what they were before her coming out, and that certain venues no longer book her because they don't want to risk a protest. She still commends Frank though, and says he's forging a path for other artists to follow, saying, "I can't think of a better way for Frank to celebrate Independence Day."

Complex puts Frank's coming out in the context of other musician's who have come out, citing a few examples, like David Bowie who outed himself as bi in a Melody Maker interview in 1972, but later said it was the "biggest mistake I ever made." And gay icon Ellen DeGeneres, who came out in 1997 after which her ratings dropped off the charts and then took years to get her career back on track. And other icons like Elton John, George Michael and Freddie Mercury, who only came out once they were well and truly established in music and comfortable enough to deal with the possible backlash.

Frank's Odd Future cohorts were along the first to support him (despite being constantly criticised for their use of homophobic lyrics):

Earl Sweatshirt summarised his feelings as succinctly as a Mum using SMS:

And even though Tyler, The Creator (who we interviewed for Oyster #98) uses the word "faggot" a lot, he too took to Twitter to publicly support Frank:

Other musicians also tweeted support for Frank, such as Chromeo, Solange Knowles, A-Trak, and Action Bronson, as well as hip hop news website Missinfo.tv:

Chromeo:

Author/Journalist Dream Hampton:

The Incredibly Amazing Solange Knowles (who we interviewed for #96):

Grantland writer Rembert Browne:

Rapper Action Bronson:

Some sort of Canadian teenaged Chris Brown advocate:

Hot 97's Miss Info:

And, then of course, there were the random jerks:

We say screw the jerks, and big ups to Frank for making himself visible as a gay man, especially in mainstream hip hop culture where it's a rarity. We can't wait for his debut album to come out! (Channel Orange, set for release 17 July.)

Jerico Mandybur

News & Features

Oyster #97: Gold

James Nelson shoots Jess Gold.


Exclusive: Benah AW12 Campaign & Interview

I wanted it to look like images found in the past from the future.


Exclusive: Aje AW12 Lookbook

Shot by Rene Vaile.


Australian Exclusive: Isabel Marant's First Film

Fall further in love with the French label.


'Musecology: Round 2' Performance Exhibition This Week

Live music amongst the mummies at Sydney Uni.


Frank Ocean Will Support Coldplay's European Tour

And the Eagles are very mad that he sampled 'Hotel California'.


Paris Fashion Week Street Style

ADR, Susie Bubble, Bryan Boy and the rest of the fashion pack up the ante.


Picnic Presents Friendly Fires Future Music After Party

Listen to their Bestival mix as a teaser for what to expect this weekend.


Behind-The-Scenes at Paris Fashion Week

Go backstage at Balmain, Dries, Isabel Marant, Mugler & more.


Millenium Magazines at MoMA

A showcase of internationally exciting indie print publications.


Australian Fashion Week Schedule and Blogger Guests

The Man Repeller and Fashion Toast to attend this year's event?


Exclusive: Insight's Bangkok & Hong Kong Photo Diary

Head menswear designer Robbie Owens-Russo shares his recent sourcing trip with us.


Watch: 'Oblivion' by Grimes

The 23-year-old Canadian will perform at Pitchfork's upcoming SXSW showcase.


Oyster #97: This Must Be The Place

Urban Outfitters ask their contributors to capture what The Real Deal means to them.


Interview: Gold Fields

We talk to the best band from Ballarat ahead of their US tour.


Exclusive: We Are Handsome Behind-The-Scenes

Sunsets, palms and dreams of a summer we never quite got.


Rekorderlig and Somedays Present 'Stockholm Street Style'

Refreshingly Swedish fashion and beverages.


Exclusive: Ksubi Eyewear 'WAR' Lookbook & Interview

It's only eyewear once it's been worn. Until then it's art, sculpture.


Look Inside Taylor Tomasi Hill's New York Apartment

See inside the living space of the street style icon and Moda Operandi Artistic Director.


Opening Ceremony Dime Store Diamonds Editorial

Designer accessories meet a $2 shop.


Social Snaps: Eastpak Launch Party

A party for fancy backpacks with some pretty fancy guests.


Interview: Neon Indian

One of my main criteria for picking a place to live is whether or not it has good Mexican food.


Did Muse Magazine Plagiarise Purple?

Olivier Zahm is "personally shocked and saddened to see the lack of ethics."


Dree Hemingway for Ay Not Dead AW12

The all-American beauty does Argentinian rock 'n' roll.


Last Chance to Win A Trip to New York!

See our favourtie entries from the Soludos & Oyster Endless Summer photo competition so far.


Our Favourite Model Slash Actresses Pt 2

Will Andrej Pejic now make the move to acting?


Ellery AW12 Campaign

Kym Ellery shoots Hannah Holman.


Aesop Launches Black Label Hair Care

A fusion of science, botanics and pretty packaging.


Social Snaps: G-Star RAW Flagship Store Opening

A Grammy nominee, an actress, a supermodel and the Chinese Justin Timberlake...


Watch: 'DoYaThing' by Gorillaz, James Murphy & Andre 3000

Muster a newfound respect for even your most repulsive housemates.