Frank Ocean shares moving personal essay in the wake of Orlando shootings
The singer reflects on last week’s horrific crime, writing ‘many hate us and wish we didn’t exist’.
Just over a week after the worst mass shooting in U.S. history – which saw 49 people killed at Pulse nightclub in Orlando – most people are still struggling to make sense of the atrocity.
R&B star Frank Ocean is one of them, taking to his Tumblr this morning to make a thought-provoking statement regarding the tragedy.
In an extremely personal piece, Ocean talks of homophobia and transphobia, North Carolina’s ‘bathroom bill’ and the violence and discrimination many LGBT people continue to face.
“I heard on the news that the aftermath of a hate crime left piles of bodies on a dance floor this month,” he writes.
“I heard the gunman feigned dead among all the people he killed. I heard the news say he was one of us.”
Ocean – who has previously discussed his relationship with other men – then touches on his formative experiences, witnessing his father’s transphobia and how such hate can start a vicious cycle of hatred and discrimination.
“I was six years old when I heard my dad call our transgender waitress a faggot as he dragged me out a neighbourhood diner saying we wouldn’t be served because she was dirty,” he writes.
“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,” he continued.
“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?”
Ocean spoke for many earlier this year, after writing a eulogy for the late singer Prince.
Read his latest essay in full here.