Russell Simmons, one of the leading voices in the music industry and a fairly influential figure on the human rights scene, penned a blog post today congratulating singer Frank Ocean for coming out of the closet:
Today is a big day for hip-hop. It is a day that will define who we really are.
How compassionate will we be? How loving can we be? How inclusive are we?
I am profoundly moved by the courage and honesty of Frank Ocean. Your decision to go public about your sexual orientation gives hope and light to so many young people still living in fear. These types of secrets should not matter anymore, but we know they do, and because of that I decided to write this short statement of support for one of the greatest new artists we have.
His gifts are undeniable. His talent, enormous. His bravery, incredible. His actions this morning will uplift our consciousness and allow us to become better people. Every single one of us is born with peace and tranquility in our heart. Frank just found his.
Frank, we thank you. We support you. We love you.
With Simmons and collaborators Jay-Z and Kanye West behind him, there's virtually no way Ocean will feel any backlash from coming out. And that, as Martha Stewart would say ten years ago, when the idea of an openly gay hip-hop artist was a simple fantasy, is a good thing.