Grammy-winning singer Frank Ocean called out homophobic rhetoric against gay marriage and transgender bathroom rights in an emotional social media post Tuesday that also offered a glimpse into his childhood and his anti-gay father. Ocean, known for hits like "Thinkin Bout You" and "Novacane," said the recent slaughter at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, reminded him of his own challenges in dealing with people critical of his sexuality.
Ocean, who famously came out as bisexual in an open letter on Tumblr in July 2012, questioned the faith of those who promote anti-gay values. "Many hate us and wish we didn’t exist. Many are annoyed by our wanting to be married like everyone else or use the correct restroom like everyone else. Many don’t see anything wrong with passing down the same old values that send thousands of kids into suicidal depression each year," he wrote.
The full Tumblr post reads: "I read in the paper that my brothers are being thrown from rooftops blindfolded with their hands tied behind their backs for violating sharia law. I heard the crowds stone these fallen men if they move after they hit the ground. I heard it’s in the name of God. I heard my pastor speak for God too, quoting scripture from his book. Words like abomination popped off my skin like hot grease as he went on to describe a lake of fire that God wanted me in. I heard on the news that the aftermath of a hate crime left piles of bodies on a dance floor this month. I heard the gunman feigned dead among all the people he killed. I heard the news say he was one of us. I was six years old when I heard my dad call our transgender waitress a faggot as he dragged me out a neighborhood diner saying we wouldn’t be served because she was dirty. That was the last afternoon I saw my father and the first time I heard that word, I think, although it wouldn’t shock me if it wasn’t. Many hate us and wish we didn’t exist. Many are annoyed by our wanting to be married like everyone else or use the correct restroom like everyone else. Many don’t see anything wrong with passing down the same old values that send thousands of kids into suicidal depression each year. So we say pride and we express love for who and what we are. Because who else will in earnest? I daydream on the idea that maybe all this barbarism and all these transgressions against ourselves is an equal and opposite reaction to something better happening in this world, some great swelling wave of openness and wakefulness out here. Reality by comparison looks grey, as in neither black nor white but also bleak. We are all God’s children, I heard. I left my siblings out of it and spoke with my maker directly and I think he sounds a lot like myself. If I being myself were more awesome at being detached from my own story in a way I being myself never could be. I wanna know what others hear, I’m scared to know but I wanna know what everyone hears when they talk to God. Do the insane hear the voice distorted? Do the indoctrinated hear another voice entirely?"
Ocean has reportedly faced discrimination in the music business for being gay, with some rappers allegedly refusing to work with him.
Ocean's troubled relationship with his father, Calvin Cooksey, previously made headlines when the singer said he was threatened by a lawsuit in December 2012. "Father wanna sue me for a million," Ocean wrote on Twitter at the time. "Like i owe him back child support. weak individual bought me a swiss knife at 6yrs old then dipped on me … i got his DNA though, maybe I inherited some of his karma too."