Tag Archives: Frank Ocean

The All Too Relevant Myth About Bisexuality

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“What? You haven’t heard of the myth about bisexuality? The myth about it is that bisexuality doesn’t exist. It’s all for show. It’s so obvious that they’re lying to themselves.  They get to have the best of both worlds with fewer consequences and they are completely greedy. So selfish. They’re doing it to buffer into being gay. Sort of like some gateway. They don’t know how to be monogamous.  Or it’s just made up so that clever gay men not ready to face the truth yet and accept that they’re just as gay as the rest of them. That’s why I never date them. It doesn’t exist.”

This is what a normal conversation looks like that sums up how most men in the gay community feel about bisexuality. So often the only discussion is just a few sentences that deny that it has any legitimacy or accuracy. Either many don’t understand it or simply don’t want as a result of resentment and frustration Instead of the outward appearance of solidarity; bisexuality is one of the most openly condemned subgroups. It’s so easily discarded almost immediately upon mention without any further investigation and not worthy of any more discussion.

And at the end of these superficial conversations, they are always met with the declarative phrase like, “That’s why I don’t date them”. The statement is said with so much vigor and so finite that it seems as if they truly believe that bisexuals as some kind of leper of our community. So many believe that being bisexual is actually some type of detriment to their character. That their sexuality is an actual problem, not just who they are and is met with such disdain. There is always a reason to have such a strong stance something so I ask is there any validity to this stance? What leads so many gay men to view bisexuality in such a negative way to the point that they don’t even believe that it’s possible?

The topic is too often avoided or danced around and as a result, these myths about bisexuality appear and just accepted as truth. The myths are that bisexuality, and more particularly in bisexual men, are often believed to be confused about their sexuality.  Or that bisexual men cannot be in a sustainable, monogamous relationship. More than likely, when the topic is brought up, it is either overstated that this man is gay and just hasn’t come to terms with it or is looking to cushion the blow of coming out. And the most common belief that bisexuality doesn’t exist.

Think about it, when Frank Ocean talked about his relationship with a man last year, most media, bloggers, and news outlets just referred to him as coming out gay. Despite the fact that Ocean has never declared himself as gay, most of the media wouldn’t even entertain the thought the more than likely that he is a bisexual man and completely okay with that. Even after he clarified later that he does not adhere to these labels and further suggested the fluidity of his sexuality, almost everyone just considers him gay. And it’s for reasons like this that I want to examine these aspects of how we categorize (or dismiss) bisexuality and the way they may be true and why some of them are not true at all.

So why do gay men seem to have the biggest problem with other men that declare themselves bisexual? I think there are several reasons for this stigma. First, a believed common trend up until a few years ago was to come out as bisexual to “ease” into the gay community. It’s believed that you were likely to still garner some praise from the straight community as you still had “normal” behaviors by being attracted to women. It meant that you are still a man and weren’t a complete lost cause and just needed to find the right woman. It’s perceived that going this route makes coming out as easier because at one point, these men enacted in acceptable behavior.

It’s true that some men that now identify as gay once categorized themselves as bisexual. I have several friends that have done so and for the very reason of it being easier and admitted later that they felt it would make it easier. But you can any of us really fault them for this? We come from a society that adamantly rejects any notion of a man embracing anything seen as “feminine”. So even bisexual men are criticized the same as those that identify as gay.  So maybe this trend did have very apparent drawbacks. Maybe the result of some gay men coming out initially as bisexual, made it harder for some to believe that there are in fact legitimacy of bisexual men in our community.

But these men are still attracted to men whether they identify as gay or bisexual. Why are we so critical when someone decides to take an “easier route”?  We all know the process of coming out and how it can be a constant unrelenting challenge both internally and from society. Why wouldn’t we want to further complicate someone’s life by adding to the challenges? That’s what happens when bisexual men are judged in this manner and makes coming out even more challenging by adding stress to this process. All of this scrutiny leaves a harder road for the bisexual man. Because instead of feeling welcomed in a community that should openly support him he feels like he has to choose to be gay or just a straight man that occasionally experimented with guys.

However the same is not true for bisexual women. Actually the truth is that bisexual women are praised for being adventurous and sexy. In both the straight and gay community. Taking on the aspects that are both masculine and feminine, like a tomboy, are heavily sought after. Many things that he may have perfectly blended together are now about him attempting to project an image that is most accepted. Even gay men praise and hold in high esteem women that are able to blend masculinity and femininity in their sexuality. But the truth is that the only reason that is accepted with bisexual women is because women are viewed by our misogynistic society as sexual fetishes.

So there is somewhat of a double standard at play here. It’s okay for a woman in our society to be bisexual because so often masculinity, in any form,  is romanticized and depicted as the accepted standard. It’s okay for both men and women to be attracted to masculine qualities. But as always any feminine attribute or anything associated with the feminine gender (like being attracted to men by other men) is disputed and rejected. Men are not allowed to be attracted to what women are attracted to or exhibit feminine qualities.

On some level, when we meet bisexuality in men with such trepidation we are advancing those oppressive beliefs. As a result we erroneously carry those societal norms into our community and project them onto bisexual men. We are carrying those same notions that feminine is bad and masculine is good. Horrible thought that the behaviors and attitudes towards bisexuality drive people to make the same hasty decisions like picking a side. They should be able to express their sexuality openly as we do without the criticism that we faced when we came out as gay. They feel misunderstood and unwelcome, and it’s contradictory when they are condemned by gay men.

What all this information should address to those naysayers is for you to reflect and remember that when you came out, you more than likely had a plethora of straight men  promoting this religious propaganda by telling you that this was some phase you were somehow talked into by some delinquents. We also need to remember that sexuality at its foundation has always been a fluid concept. Why? Because we are all different with varying degrees of sexual attraction, expression, and behavior.

We have all learned, sexuality may be fluid and changing. Whether it is small incremental changes to huge monumental moments we change and grow. And while I’m not saying that the category in which your sexuality is placed changes or that everyone is bisexual, the way you categorize or label your sexuality can change. So we need to be sure that we don’t criticize these men and support them, regardless of how they identify their sexuality.

What makes this talk about bisexuality relevant is that the myths are believed without question or any further examination. It’s ignorance and even more so ironic that these beliefs are held by gay men more than anyone else. These negative reactions are a consequence of conditioning from society and we need to be cognizant to not exhibit the same oppressive mannerisms.

We don’t talk enough about the things that we do to each other within our community and how some of our behaviors ask members of this community to conform to our beliefs. We cannot advocate such archaic heteronormative behaviors as we see enough of that from places like Grindr that have profiles asking for  “straight only” “no femmes” “masc only”. They are on the same makeup of the negative gay stereotypes that we campaign against. So let’s not criticize what someone defines their sexuality as, especially when they belong to our community.

Is It Ever Okay To Re-Appropriate Homophobic Slurs?

Because of the slow news day on account of the holiday, I wanted to do an opinion piece on homophobic words. I’ve had this debate with fellow gay men so many times and last night was no exception: Is it ever okay to take a word used as a derogatory term against a group or community you belong to and reclaim it? You know the one I’m talking about: the three letter one  that starts with an F and ends in G; the one used to express that because you’re gay, that you’re somehow weaker, not man enough, or even less than human.

An associate of mine thought it was okay to use homophobic terminology with me during a lighthearted and jokingly matter, and I was not amused. Yes, I know words only have as much power that you give them, but the messenger of such words can be just as influential on how it makes you feel. He said that it was a term of endearment, but all I felt was dismay, and quite frankly, I got pissed off. I asked him why, as a gay man himself, he felt that he could use that word at me? He said that because of the fact that we’re gay, that we “own” that word. That since it’s used against us, we can take the word and make it our own. To me, that is complete and utter bullshit.

The incident did, however, cause me to reflect on the concept of re-appropriating, or re-claim and reassign the definition or meaning, of words used against us in the community. Can we reappropriate words? I mean I’ve heard the same re-appropriating words rhetoric with a common racial slur against African Americans…do you think it will ever be okay to use that word to describe me? NO. So why the hell would it ever be okay to call me a homophobic slur? See my point? There’s no difference between them. It will ALWAYS have a negative connotation and history.

Yes there have been news of reappropriating  of racial words several years ago and you know what? The words still has just as much negative connotation then it did then, maybe even more so. Some believe that usage of these words in song lyrics like, Frank Ocean, who recently came out as bisexual, use both racial and homophobic slurs in their music is okay. Others feel that we can’t reclaim words still used negatively, and I emphatically agree.

Honestly, I don’t believe that it’s possible once the word is used for a negative purpose, the m eaning is forever changed. I feel the same way about any rackial, ethnic, or whatever word is used. iIt’s why I refused to use it in the entirety of this article. Yes I kn0w that we have free speech, but it isn’t always so free, and there is ALWAYS consequences, both negative and positive, to our words. Just a thought…

So I ask you fellow readers, will it ever be okay to use homophobic slurs as a term of endearment?

Stevie Wonder Apologizes For Comments Thats Gays “Are Confused”

Two days ago we reported about legendary singer/songwriter Stevie Wonder who when asked in an interview with the Guardian about openly gay singer Frank Ocean responded that he thought gays were “confused”.

Said Wonder:

I think honestly, some people who think they’re gay, they’re confused.  People  can misconstrue closeness for love. People can feel connected,  they bond. I’m  not saying all [gay people are confused]. Some people  have a desire to be with  the same-sex. But that’s them.

Well now “Little Stevie Wonder” has apologized and tried to clear things up with a statement to The Advocate:

I’m sorry that my words about anyone feeling confused about their love  were  misunderstood. No one has been a greater advocate for the power of  love in this  world than I; both in my life and in my music. Clearly,  love is love, between a  man and a woman, a woman and a man, a woman and a woman and a man and a man.  What I’m not confused about is the world  needing much more love, no hate, no  prejudice, no bigotry and more  unity, peace and understanding.

Perhaps you should have said the latter part of your statement in your original interview with The Guardian Stevie.

Or were you confused?

Legendary Singer Songwriter Stevie Wonder Calls Frank Ocean and Gays “Confused”

Legendary singer and songwriter has made a upstting statement in a recent interview in  The Guardian claiming that not all gay men are gay and some are “just confused”

When Wonder was asked about singer Frank Ocean and how remarkable it is that there is an openly gay hip-hop artist in the music industry. Wonder replied:

I think honestly, some people who think they’re gay, they’re confused. People can misconstrue closeness for love. People can feel connected, they bond. I’m not saying all [gay people]. Some people have a desire to be with the same sex. But that’s them.

Wonder also stated in the interveiw that he ‘never thought of being blind and black as a disadvantage’

Maybe he was just confused he was blind and black.

Has R&B HipHop Culture Become More Gay Friendly? Maybe…

To me, music has always been a vehicle for innovation and inspiration. I hum mercilessly, sing in the shower and have no problem belting out  a note or tune to whatever melodic music is playing over the intercom in the grocery store.  From the soft saccharine voice of Brandy to the fusion rock edge to Mutemath, Incubus, and Foo Fighters. I get all emo and introspective when I listen to Anberlin or Frank Ocean and I listen to Mozart and Debussy every night as I watch the sun set and the beautiful moon rises to greet the dazzling starry embers strewn across the heavens.

Music is such an integral part of my life. And genres don’t mean anything, ANYTHING, in regards to my “tastes” in music, but I know that unfortuantely some genres do illicit certain stigmas and negative reputations. R&B/HipHop is no exception.

For decades the genre has been heavily associated with being homophobic as anti-gay slurs are used as a degredation of one’s character in rap music. But has there been a shift in this paradigm? Havre some of the artists in the genre that heabily use homophobic rhetoric finally began to evolve their views on homosexuality?

Recently rap icon Snoop Dog gave his insight to this change within the genre as well as Frank Ocean’s publicly coming out as bisexual as well as the potential for more LGBT rappers:

“People are learning how to live and get along more, and accept people for who they are and not bash them or hurt them because they’re different–When I was growing up, you could never do that and announce that. There would be so much scrutiny and hate and negativity, and no one would step (forward) to support you because that’s what we were brainwashed and trained to know—There might be some openly gay rappers in hip-hop that’s having success – for real. You never know. There might be some(one) right now that hasn’t pulled a Frank Ocean yet, that hasn’t jumped out of the closet to the living room to make that announcement.”

Yeasayer frontman  Chris Keating recently discussed in RollingStone “I think he [Ocean] is a good new face for the R&B world right now, to kind of usher out – no pun intended – some of these folks– Let’s gay it up a little [in R&B]. Though it isn’t too clear in what Chris’s definition of “gaying” something else but his rhetoric during the interview overall suggests diversity.

So has the genre become more accepting of LGBT rappers and musicians by showing support of Ocean? Artists like JayZ have spoken out in agreement of President Obama’s support and evolution in supporting gay rights but some like Nicki Minaj say it would be difficult to see openly gay rappers because of the male dominated mindset in the genre. Maybe. There’s still a ways to go but it is a step in the right direction.

Newly Out Singer/Songwriter Frank Ocean Performs “Bad Religion” On The Jimmy Fallon Show – Video

Singer and songwriter Frank Ocean showed up on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon last night to sing “Bad Religion,” the song that had journalists speculating about his sexuality before he came out and spoke openly about it last week.

In a a powerful, heartfelt performance Ocean prsents of the most finest, most heart-stopping televised music moments that we’re likely to see anytime soon.

Frank Ocean Of The Hip Hop Group ODD FUTURE Comes Out

Frank Ocean singer, songwriter and a ghostwriter for Justin Bieber, Beyonce, John Legend and best known for his work with Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, often abbreviated to OFWGKTA or simply Odd Future, an American alternative hip hop collective from Los Angeles.

Bossip.com recently ran a blind item suggesting Frank Ocean  was prepping for a coming out party.

There’s been plenty of speculation about this hot young r&b star’s   sexuality, but most of it has been drowned out by the adoration by fans  and  famous alike. After keeping folks guessing in 2011, this soul singer  will  answer any questions about which team he’s swinging for with his  upcoming  musical release.

Last night Ocean confirmed his “coming out” with a posting on his Tumblr account and posting the link on Twitter to letter he wrote last December which are suspected to be the liner notes to his new album.

Whoever you are, wherever you are, I’m starting to think we’re a lot alike.  Human beings spinning on blackness.  All wanting to be seen, touched, heard, paid attention to.  My loved ones are everything to me here.  In the last year or 3 I’ve screamed at my creator.  Screamed at clouds in the sky.  For some explanation.  Mercy maybe.  For peace of mind to rain like manna somehow.  4 summers ago, I met somebody. I was 19 years old. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost. And on the days we were together, time would glide. Most of the day I’d see him, and his smile. I’d hear his conversation and his silence..until it was time to sleep. Sleep I would often share with him. By the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless. There was no escaping, no negotiating with the feeling.  No choice.  It was my first love, it changed my life.  Back then my mind would wander to the women I had been with, the ones I cared for and though I was in love with.  I reminisced about the sentimental songs I enjoyed when I was a teenager..the ones I played when I experienced a girlfriend for the first time.  I realized they were written in a language I did not yet speak.  I realized too much too quickly.  Imagine being thrown from a plane.  I wasn’t in a plane though.  I was in a Nissan Maxima, the same car I packed up with bags and drove to Los Angeles in. I sat there and told my friend how I felt. I wept as the words left my mouth. I grieved for them, knowing I could never take them back for myself. He patted my back. He said kind things. He did his best, but he wouldn’t admit the same. He had to go back inside soon. It was late and his girlfriend was waiting for him upstairs. He wouldn’t tell me the truth about his feelings for me for another 3 years. I felt like I’d only imagined reciprocity for years. Now imagine being thrown from a cliff. No, I wasn’t on a cliff, I was still in my car telling myself it was gonna be fine and to take deep breaths. I took the breaths and carried on. I kept up a peculiar friendship with him because I couldn’t imagine keeping up my life without him. I struggled to master myself and my emotions. I wasn’t always successful.
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