Today: Jun 24, 2024

Hip-hop and homosexuality: how mainstream is it?

Robin Glynn – General Assignment Reporter

When Frank Ocean released his album, Channel Orange, he became one of the first major African-American music artists to announce that he had fallen in love with someone of the same sex- which is rare because the music industry is known for expressions of homophobia.

On Nov. 28, a conversation called Homophobia in Communities of Color, hosted by the Women’s Center and Black Student Union, was held to discuss this issue.

“In communities of color, it tends to be ingrained in the culture itself that it is not an acceptable thing to do,” said Ebony McClease.

McClease said that within homophobia, there is also a divide among races.

“One thing that has really divided people is the use of race, class, and gender,” said McClease. “In homophobia, there is no need to talk about gender because everyone is one gender. But race and class, and among LBGTQ communities, have also been able to be use as a divider.”

Markeya Buster shared an experience of a friend of hers, who is gay.

Photo Courtesy | Fastcodesign.comSinger Frank Ocean recently spoke out publicly about his sexuality. In July, Ocean used online media to thank a past male lover for his influence.
Photo Courtesy | Fastcodesign.com
Singer Frank Ocean recently spoke out publicly about his sexuality. In July, Ocean used online media to thank a past male lover for his influence.

“The hardest part for him was coming out to his family,” said Buster. “He came out when he was in high school.”

Buster said that people at school were more accepting of his homosexuality than his own family was.

McClease drew upon her own experience of coming out to her family for the conversation.

“In high school, I decided it was a good idea to tell my parents I swing both ways,” said McClease. “My mom had been completely accepting of other people. I told my mom and her reaction was horrid. I had never been more ashamed of my parent than that moment.”

McClease said she had a conversation with her mother afterwards that shed light on previous conversations that she had: that it didn’t matter what anyone else said or did, but when it comes to your own home, it [homosexuality] is not ok. McClease said that was her mom’s perception.

Candace Latimer also shared her own family experience.

“Two of my cousins are gay. Their younger sister is 13. Their grandmother is gay too. My aunt is in her 60 and she recently came out as gay. My uncle is afraid she is going to be gay. He said ‘She is the last hope.’”

Latimer said that her uncle said he can not have another child that is gay and said that he wants grandchildren and that he is afraid.

“Hip-hop culture is extremely problematic for the black community in general,” said McClease. “When you look at the black community, a lot of people make the assumptions about people based off what they see.”

McClease used hip-hop videos as an example and asked if people in the music videos really act the way they do. McClease said when it comes to the stereotypical hip-hop artist, that if people do not buy into the ‘concept,’ people will not make money.

McClease said that the media also gives a specific image that people will buy into. McClease said that looking at homophobia, people think of people being flamboyant and when others see people who do not fit that stereotype in communities of color, they are called “homothug.”

Buster said that homophobia is more negative in men than it is in women, but McClease said that overall is it becoming more accepted.

In July, Ocean used his blog to thank the man for his influence, and also thanked his mother and other friends saying, “I don’t know what happens now, and that’s alright. I don’t have any secrets I need kept anymore…I feel like a free man.”

“When Frank Ocean came out and said his first love was a man,” said Latimer, “he put out there ‘I guess you can say I am bisexual.’ He wasn’t shunned by the people by hip-hop community.”

1 Comment

  1. Well every coin had a different side some may be good some may be bad… its all persepective of how they feel and homo sexuality is what they feel its up to their own minds and persepective of looking

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog