It’s unfortunate that in 2012 North America, a person’s sexual orientation is still considered taboo. While I agree a celebrity or public figure’s private life is no one else’s business, there is value in coming out publicly and sending a message there is nothing to be nervous or scared or ashamed of. Anderson Cooper summarized it pretty well in his letter to Andrew Sullivan:
Recently, however, I’ve begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle. It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something – something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true.
I’ve also been reminded recently that while as a society we are moving toward greater inclusion and equality for all people, the tide of history only advances when people make themselves fully visible. There continue to be far too many incidences of bullying of young people, as well as discrimination and violence against people of all ages, based on their sexual orientation, and I believe there is value in making clear where I stand.
The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.
I have always been very open and honest about this part of my life with my friends, my family, and my colleagues. In a perfect world, I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business, but I do think there is value in standing up and being counted. I’m not an activist, but I am a human being and I don’t give that up by being a journalist.
The latest to stand up and be counted is singer Frank Ocean, who posted to his Tumblr yesterday a screen grab of a text document — a long missive about falling in love with a man — originally intended to be in his album credits. There was a little bit of chatter about his sexual orientation a few days ago, when music journalist Max reviewed his new album, Channel Orange, and noted some love songs referenced a “him,” while others referenced a “her.”
With the screen grab, Frank Ocean wrote:
we’re all a bunch of golden million dollar babies. my hope is that the babies born these days will inherit less of the bullshit than we did. anyhow, what i’m about to post is for anyone who cares to read. it was intended to fill the thank you’s section in my album credits, but with all the rumors going round.. i figured it’d be good to clarify..