Should Sexuality Still Be News?

Yesterday, it was reported that Frank Ocean allegedly opened up about his sexuality. With his new project being released later this month, This Is Max Online reported that on the songs “Bad Religion,” “Pink Matter” and ”Forrest Gump” you can hear him sing about being in love. She goes on to say that there are quite obvious words used like “him” and not “her.” Yet other reports say sexuality has not been mentioned once. This blog post created much havoc and even had the Odd Future affiliate trending on Twitter- for the right and wrong reasons. Anyone who has ever listened to Frank Ocean knows he is a crafty writer and is great at telling stories. He’s very in tuned with historical social events and effeminate emotions that extend beyond shouting luxury car labels or blowing $100k on sneakers- or girls’ new ass. His music is always left up to interpretation.

Earlier that day, Anderson Cooper’s coming out story touched on  the importance of people sharing intimate details of what goes on inside his or her bedroom. The fact of the matter is: we need positive examples in our community that say you can have a successful career and still be mainstream. We should be invited to the table to sit with everyone. There’s no corner for big scary infectious gay people.  Cooper’s situation should remind us, no matter how blatant or juvenile some think ‘coming out’ is- it still matters.  Celebrities give us humility.  The public wants celebrities to be down-to-earth and candid, so when they decide to share that information we should listen.

Some would say sexuality is overrated and exclusive; however, in a world where gays are treated as second-class citizens, sexuality is everything but synonymous to those two conditions.

I’m not sure if Monday was a hoax dubbed as ‘Gay Day’ or maybe we’re just going to have a slow news week. However, much like any celebrity that discloses his or her sexuality, these cases provide a backdrop to kick off much needed discussions on sexuality and disclosure. From my experiences growing up, my friends and I didn’t have a huge parade or cocktail party when we found out each other’s sexuality. Neither did I in high school round up my closest friends and delivered a State of My Sexuality Address. When I was ready to make known my sexuality, I did.

Many gay and lesbian people are not completely transparent about their sexuality, and that is tolerable. Developing a sense of self-awareness comes in stages.  Nobody is arguing that sexuality shouldn’t be private, but when it’s shared there’s no shame in discussing.

I wish that the Frank Ocean and Cooper situation would truly be a teachable moment for young black gays; however, I’m certain that the information will be lost. Coming out for African Americans is never easy and probably will never be with the continued unconstructive stigmas and attitudes towards gays. As black gay men, we are all aware of the possible consequences for broadcasting one’s sexuality. Using this awareness, we have a responsibility to our own community to foster an environment where people feel comfortable sharing. Despite the debate, Cooper coming out the closet is news to most and if Ocean had actually come out that would be news also. Let’s not debate if sexuality is newsworthy, but rather hope one day it won’t be.

 Do you think sexuality is newsworthy? Share your thoughts with us below.

Drew-Shane Daniels is the editor-in-chief of MUSED. He is also a contributing writer for other sites to help pay his student loans. And a branding and content strategist. He loves tacos, dark liquor and Dr. Pepper.

  • Americanboi

    Id have to respectfully disagree buddy. I don’t believe that ones sexuality should be world news or the public’s business. Especially if they are making no effort to hide it behind some false relationship with a woman. The fact that it actually IS news in my opinion shows how far behind we still are as a nation. So what is Anderson is gay. What does that prove? Ellen was and still is enough assurance that any gay person can be successful with hard work. And who said we couldn’t be? Now when Lemon came out I understood because he used that to address homosexuality in OUR community which is something that is never discussed. But Anderson’s announcement could have gone without being said. Everyone assumed it anyway, and he was never “hiding” it. It’s mobodu’s business. And I’ll never agree that it is. Celebrity or not.

  • Brent

    It’s news. People don’t want to discuss it. Until we stop referring to it as coming out then it’s news.

  • Antonio Maurice Daniels

    It should not be newsworthy. Why should America be concerned with who Anderson Cooper or Frank Ocean sleeps with? Are the American people that bored that they need to know what Anderson or Frank do in their bedroom? I hope not. Issues about sexuality are newsworthy but not when we begin to examine a particular person’s sexuality. Who benefits when the mainstream media discusses Anderson Cooper’s sexuality? Those heterosexuals who want to further marginalize the LGBTI community are really the only ones who benefit, considering making Cooper’s “coming out” appear as “news” only makes homosexuality look more “foreign” in America.

  • Chris B.

    I will say, I doubt the rumor is true… Being a huge Frank Ocean fan, one of the tracks that won me over by him was the track “We All Try” where in the opening lines of the song he openly supports marriage equality “i believe that marriage isn’t, between a man & woman, but between love and love” he says. And he was the first and only within the r&b/hip-hop world to do it before it was deemed “ok” or “popular” by Obama. I think this is actually a very teachable moment, about who and why we support the music of certain people… Weather he confirms, denies, or never tells his sexual preference, he’s clearly a advocate for the LGBT community within a industry that is still obviously riddled with stigma. Thats can’t be said for most of the entertainers the community literally worships! I think this situation puts the ball in our (the lgbt communities) court. Will we still support him if he confirms or denies it? He’s clearly always been in support of us…With that said, I am hopeful that this won’t be the last post concerning Frank Ocean, Im hoping to read something centered more around his merit and not his preference. He’s already taken a strong stance in my opinion and that more than enough for me.

  • Chris B.

    Well let to say the rumor.. wasn’t a rumor at all… It was something that just hadn’t previously been said… It you don’t know what Im talking about…He completely came out..

    • Drew-Shane

      Thanks for the link! Very, very beautifully written.

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