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Music Mogul Russell Simmons Reacts To Frank Ocean's Coming Out: 'We Love You'

RussellSimmonsRussell 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.

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  1. "sexual orientation"? the letter described a one-time love affair with someone who happened to be a man.... that's not an orientation!

    Posted by: the love whose name cannot be spoken?? lol | Jul 5, 2012 1:57:55 PM

  2. Really beautiful statement!

    Posted by: kit | Jul 5, 2012 2:12:08 PM

  3. Can't bisexuality be a sexual orientation? And whether he's Gay or Bi--every little bit helps, honey.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jul 5, 2012 2:14:20 PM

  4. Frank Ocean should really be courageous and attempt to get Tyler the Creator to stop screaming the homophobic F word in every sentence. That would be true courage.

    And I don't care how the lame fawning fans of Tyler The Creator (dubbed one of the weakest 'artists' around) try to spin his usage of the F word as not being homophobic. THAT WORD IS, ALWAYS WAS AND ALWAYS WILL BE AN ANTI GAY SLUR! Stop using it or be prepared to be called a homophobe.

    Posted by: JulyBlues | Jul 5, 2012 2:15:04 PM

  5. I think all too often in hip hop and R&B people get a free pass for homophobia. It's absolute bull and the gay community needs to confront it more. That hip hop can brand so much homophobia within a demographic and not be challenged by it is showing where our community falls short.

    Posted by: MJ | Jul 5, 2012 2:16:11 PM

  6. Tyler the creator is basically seen as a total gimmick in the music industry. He has a shelf life of a few more years and will fade into obscurity. Everyone knows it.

    Posted by: IonMusic | Jul 5, 2012 2:17:07 PM

  7. We excuse hip hop homophobia because God forbid you tackle the fact that most younger black straight men are intensely homophobic, by way of street culture and lack of education. We've come to expect it, or just pretend it doesn't exist.

    Posted by: JustTruths | Jul 5, 2012 2:18:37 PM

  8. well met :-)

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jul 5, 2012 2:18:47 PM

  9. I've never even heard of this "singer" and most of my musician friends haven't either. I guess good for him for coming out, but it really won't be much of a talk considering he's not well known

    Posted by: Karbotian | Jul 5, 2012 2:25:00 PM

  10. Russell Simmons is one cool guy.

    @JUSTTRUTHS And what statistics or evidence do you have to back up your statements? None? Well, then, keep talking. By the way, the largest consumers of hip-hop are white boys. They're homophobic, too. All of them, accordingly to your logic. Not all young black men are into hip-hop or are homophobic or are poorly educated. Check yourself, honey, before posting your drivel.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jul 5, 2012 2:26:00 PM

  11. Bisexuals on these sites are so over zealous. They are adament on proving everyone is bisexual like them. No, we're not. Go find your representation elsewhere. Most of the world is NOT bisexual. Sorry.

    Posted by: Jolt | Jul 5, 2012 2:26:44 PM

  12. Bisexuals on these sites are so over zealous. They are adament on proving everyone is bisexual like them. No, we're not. Go find your representation elsewhere. Most of the world is NOT bisexual. Sorry.

    Posted by: Jolt | Jul 5, 2012 2:26:46 PM

  13. OK, so the commenting rules on Towleroad seem to be, if a person of color attacks a white person, comment about black homophobia. If a white person does the same, just pity the victim and ignore race. On cultural questions, if an African American entertainer uses the f word or is otherwise homophobic, condemn the whole race. If, as in this case, a series of very high profile homophobic entertainers attack homophobia, support their gay colleagues and condemn homophobia, ignore them and condemn the whole black race anyway. Did I get that right?

    Posted by: Brian | Jul 5, 2012 2:27:03 PM

  14. I also notice bisexuals seem very bitter, and yes, homophobic. Always trying to claim people are all really bisexual. It's annoying. And if anyone says they aren't into being with a bisexual, it's biphobia. NO it's not.

    We're entitled to not be attracted to someone who's attracted to both sexes. If a straight man is not into a gay man, he's not homophobic, and if a women or gay man is not comfortable being with a bisexual for many factors, that doesn't make them biphobic.

    Posted by: Michaelo | Jul 5, 2012 2:28:32 PM

  15. Good for him for coming out or whatever, but the music is generic, no conscience or any riveting beats. Terrible comes to mind. And in some aspects, that of a child who has A.D.D but pushing for substance. Just my opinion. Everyone has a different clinch in music.

    Posted by: MyOTTO | Jul 5, 2012 2:33:04 PM

  16. Great development. Another example of straight men coming around to be supportive and cool and real. Even better that it is an example of straight black men doing so.

    The only complaint I have is that the two black men posting in the thread felt compelled to use the word "Honey" in their comments and that the writer of the story felt compelled to quote Martha Stewart.

    Hey guys, did it ever occur to you to use Russell Simmons or Jay-Z or Kanye as your role models rather than a woman (or women in general)? Now THAT would be REAL progress.....

    Posted by: Rick | Jul 5, 2012 2:34:07 PM

  17. Thank you, Brian and Jamal.

    JOLT and MICHAELO, what the are you two talking about? The first poster made a statement about what the definition of sexual orientation. I wondered whether his definition was limited or prejudiced. So, where is your anti-bisexual sh.t coming from?

    Simple-azz b.tches.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jul 5, 2012 2:36:34 PM

  18. It's surprising to read on twitter how many young guys are saying they won't buy his album because they can't relate to it now that he revealed this. Very interesting

    Posted by: Steve-ATL | Jul 5, 2012 2:39:25 PM

  19. As always, LOL at Rick. She cuckoo.

    Posted by: endo | Jul 5, 2012 2:40:06 PM

  20. "Most of the world is NOT bisexual. Sorry."

    Actually, most of the world is bisexual in terms of orientation, based on the truly empirical evidence we have. At least in terms of orientation, if not in terms or practice. IF the definition of bisexual is not that one is equally attracted to both genders, but has at least some degree of attraction to each.

    Born out by the fact that the vast majority of "gay" men have had sex with a woman at least once.

    Funny how some of you are intolerant of bisexuals and hostile to them at the same time that you embrace trans people who are not even homosexual in the slightest. Insecurity on your part, obviously. Which will no doubt become worse as you see sexual barriers break down in the coming years and a majority of men beginning to have sex at least occasionally with each other.

    That should be something we all welcome, but for those of you who have invested so heavily in the concept of "gay" and the culture of effeminacy attached to it, I can see why you would be resistant.

    Posted by: Rick | Jul 5, 2012 2:40:53 PM

  21. @Steve-ATL

    I also read the tweets by some who say they won't be buying his album because of this. I know it's sad to say, but I'm not surprised given that genre and the level of prejudice it can attract that some word react like that. That thinking definitely needs to be shifted.

    Posted by: Friedcheese | Jul 5, 2012 2:40:54 PM

  22. Why are young straight White males homophobic? Why do they use anti gay slurs?@justtruths whats your theory?

    Posted by: Kimono | Jul 5, 2012 2:41:51 PM

  23. @ rick: "the vast majority of "gay" men have had sex with a woman at least once."


    Posted by: tcw | Jul 5, 2012 2:46:33 PM

  24. "The only complaint I have is that the two black men posting in the thread felt compelled to use the word "Honey" in their comments..."

    All right, I get your message. I'll never call you "honey", Miss Thing.

    And who's the other "black man" posting on this thread so far? Honey, this heat is frying everybody's brain this afternoon.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jul 5, 2012 2:53:24 PM

  25. Anyone who wants to say most of the world isn't bisexual obviously hasn't been on the receiving end of a guy, with a girlfriend by his side, checking him out when she is looking the other way.

    Go find an attractive gay guy and ask him how often this happens. These days its easier to cruise a non-gay guy because gay guys, like women, tend to be all too nonchalant.

    Posted by: Michael | Jul 5, 2012 2:54:20 PM

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