After Thwarted Kidnapping Plans, Whitmer Calls for Unity

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]


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Ocean’s Coming Out

By |2012-07-12T09:00:00-04:00July 12th, 2012|Opinions|

Compiled by Howard Israel

S/he Said

In the last year or three I’ve screamed at my creator. Screamed at clouds in the sky. For some explanation. Mercy maybe… Four summers ago, I met somebody, I was 19 years old. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost…It was my first love, it changed my life….I feel like a free man. If I listen closely, I can hear the sky falling too.
-Frank Ocean, the 24-year-old hip-hop, R&B singer/songwriter, via tumblr post coming out as having been in love with a man,
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“Ocean’s announcement is a game-changer. He’s Black and a successful young man on the rise in hip-hop. He’s written for Beyonce and is working with Brandy on her new album. It’s also important ‘how’ he came out. There wasn’t any interview or any speculation with Ocean. He came out of his own free will. That’s the significance.”
-DJ Baker, host of the popular gay-themed, hip-hop internet radio show “The Da-Doo Dirty Show,” in an opinion column titled “Game Changer: Why Frank Ocean’s Coming Out is More Significant than Anderson Cooper’s,” about the coming out of Frank Ocean,, July 05.
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“Ocean is not wealthy and cannot benefit from the privilege afforded to White men – gay or straight. It’s not difficult for famous White men to come out of the closet. It’s amazing that Anderson Cooper, or Neil Patrick Harris came out. But they came out with secure jobs. Frank Ocean’s album has not been released. And he’s a Black man. That trumps Anderson Cooper’s announcement on so many levels.”
-Darryl Stephens, actor, the lead character in “Noah’s Arc,” the first television series to focus on Black gay characters, in an opinion column titled “Game Changer: Why Frank Ocean’s Coming Out is More Significant than Anderson Cooper’s,” about the coming out of Frank Ocean, the 24-year-old hip-hop, R&B singer/songwriter,, July 05.
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“It’s hard for me to suggest that gay public figures have a moral obligation to come out. Personally, I wish they would, however. It is a long-standing sociological finding that when liked people come out, it reduces prejudice. I’m not convinced that an openly gay sports star would have much impact on today’s youth, but it might make a difference for those who grew up in a more homophobic generation. Whichever gay male athlete comes out first, he will find himself similarly sought by the media for input on all types of LGBT matters. Only after a few professional male athletes come out will the media care less. Future openly gay male athletes will have to rely on athletic talent to earn celebrity status, not their sexuality.”
-Eric Anderson, professor of sport studies, University of Winchester, UK, and author of “In the Game: Gay Athletes and the Cult of Masculinity,” in his column titled “For Gay Athletes, a Harsh Spotlight,” about the idea of professional athletes coming out,, July 02.
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About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.