By Jose Mojica
On his recent Tumblr post, R&B singer and self-identifying bisexual Frank Ocean expresses the fear, the struggle, and the oppression that the LGBT community contends with as he reflect on the worst mass shooting in history that happened in Orlando more than a week ago. He hasn’t spoken that much about his sexuality since (people in general are just rightfully concerned about when his next album is going to drop) but he firmly reiterates his orientation in speaking out about the incident.
He deals with the attempt to reconcile his own religious faith with fundamentalists’ hate for LGBTQ+ people. He writes:
“I heard my pastor speak for God too, quoting scripture from his book. Words like abomination popped off my skin like hot grease as he went on to describe a lake of fire that God wanted me in. I heard on the news that the aftermath of a hate crime left piles of bodies on a dance floor this month. I heard the gunman feigned dead among all the people he killed.”
He also tells a personal anecdote way back when he was six where he witnessed the disgust of his own father to gay people, involving a transgender diner waitress and getting dragged out of the establishment.
“I was six years old when I heard my dad call our transgender waitress a faggot as he dragged me out a neighborhood diner saying we wouldn’t be served because she was dirty. 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.”
He philosophizes on the reason for the incidents, and wonders whether the cruelty is an “equal and opposite reaction to something better happening in this world.” He closes the post with an interesting question, one that might even ultimately end up being rhetorical:
“I wanna know what others hear, I’m scared to know but I wanna know what everyone hears when they talk to God. Do the insane hear the voice distorted? Do the indoctrinated hear another voice entirely?”
It’s an interesting question, one that’s especially resonant with LGBTQ+ people who remain religious in spite of the traditional and systemic discrimination against them. If anyone has an answer to his questions, we’re all ears. You can read his whole post here:
Photo from Konbini