Tag Archives: LGBTQ

Frank Ocean Uses
His Beautiful, Powerful Voice


If you know me, you know I believe deeply in the power of popular culture to shape our cultural, political and social landscape. It is the reason why I devote part of my life to writing. I believe narrative matters, that the stories we tell give shape and meaning to the facts and experiences from which we manufacture our world. I believe that narrative makes our world, that, as the American poet and political activist Muriel Rukeyser put it, “the universe is made of stories, not atoms.”

And so when someone who occupies space in the popular imagination — because of their ability to act or sculpt or erect a meaningful building or manufacture a story from thin air — uses their voice to tell a story that needs to be told, in just this way, at this particular moment in humanity’s great march, I stop and I listen and I let it wash over me. I listen as they speak in all of their tongues, tongues that may be alien to me or familiar, like unto or unlike my own. I listen as they speak in their human tongues, tongues which, the Tower of Babel notwithstanding, are meant for my ears, and my heart, and for our shared, deepened understanding of what it is to be human in all of its guises, and what it means to embrace the other as our own. 


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As The Last Bastions
Of Closetdom Tumble Down

Jason Collins


Angel Haze


Frank Ocean In NYTimes Mag

With three short sentences in this week’s issue of Sports Illustrated, Jason Collins became the first pro athlete to announce to the world that he is gay. With those three sentences — “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.” — Collins has joined a growing cacophony of (and this is significant) black voices, from the last outposts of homophobia, the hyper-masculine arenas of professional team sports and rap and R&B music. He joins the likes of grammy award winning musician Frank Ocean and rapper Angel Haze, who have casually and unapolegetically mentioned their homosexuality and bisexuality to the world, almost in passing, as though being gay or bisexual were natural ways to be — which, of course they are. Ocean’s and Haze’s nonchalance are sweet, beautiful, powerful things.  Chalk it up to their youth. Haze is 21, Ocean is 25, which makes them the first generation to live their whole lives in a time when people were out.


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