America isn’t the only one claiming it’s Independence this week…In a courageous and admirable decision both singer/songwriter Frank Ocean and Television Journalist Anderson Cooper came out about their sexualtiy this week. Both men chose to write about their decision and release it to the public. Both men took risk by revealing their sexuality. Frank Ocean is a black male in the Hip Hop and R&B realm where being openly gay has not always been welcomed. Anderson Cooper is one of the most respected journalist on television and he also takes a risk by alienating members of his audience that are anti-gay rights. Cooper also explained that many of the situations he enters in other countries are very dangerous and he’s chosen to remain silent for his safety as well as the safety of others. I’m so proud of these men. Read parts of what they posted below:
Frank Ocean, (the Odd Future singer known for Novacaine and Thinkin About You) posted a letter on his Tumblr, he wrote back in December that he planned to save for his album insert.
It was a revealing story about the 24-year-old falling in love with a man, 4 summers ago. And the relationship continued until last year. That first summer, the two spent every day and every night together. Spending time and sleeping together. But since the other man had a girlfriend and refused to come out about his feelings, it caused Frank to suffer from an inner struggle. He couldn’t get the love he wanted in return. So he packed up his bags and moved to L.A. from Louisiana to pursue his music–in order to suppress his pain and heartache. And it got him to where he is today.
“4 summers ago, I met somebody,” he wrote. “I was 19 years old. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost. And on the days we were together, time would glide. Most of the day I’d see him, and his smile.
“Sleep I would often share with him. By the time I realised I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless. There was no escaping, no negotiating to the women I had been with, the ones I cared for and thought I was in love with.
“I sat there and told my friend how I felt. I wept as the words left my mouth. I grieved for then. Knowing I could never take them back for myself. He patted my back. He said kind things. He did his best, but he wouldn’t admit the same.
“He had to go back inside soon. It was late and his girlfriend was waiting for him upstairs. He wouldn’t tell the truth about his feelings for me for another 3 years. I felt like I’d only imagined reciprocity for years.
“I kept up a peculiar friendship with him because I couldn’t imagine keeping up my life without him. I struggled to master myself and my emotions. I wasn’t always successful.
“I don’t have any secrets I need kept anymore. There’s probably some small s**t still, but you know what I mean. I was never alone, as much as it felt like it. As much as I still do sometimes. I never was. I don’t think I ever could be. Thanks. To my first love, I’m grateful for you.
Anderson Cooper (journalist/Talk show host) wrote an e-mail reprinted on Andrew Sullivan’s the Dish blog on the Daily Beast, responding to Sullivan who asked for Cooper’s thoughts on an Entertainment Weekly story that ran last week on gay people in public life coming out of the closet
Even though my job puts me in the public eye, I have tried to maintain some level of privacy in my life. Part of that has been for purely personal reasons. I think most people want some privacy for themselves and the people they are close to.
I’ve also wanted to retain some privacy for professional reasons. Since I started as a reporter in war zones 20 years ago, I’ve often found myself in some very dangerous places. For my safety and the safety of those I work with, I try to blend in as much as possible, and prefer to stick to my job of telling other people’s stories, and not my own.
But, Cooper said, he can remain silent no longer. 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 … 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.
Cooper concludes, “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.” He encourages Sullivan to share the e-mail with his readers.