There have been a lot of deeply stupid and hateful things said in the wake of the mass shooting at the Pulse club in Orlando — but that’s not the full story.
There have also been a lot of powerful and moving commentaries about the incident, and singer Frank Ocean has penned a deeply moving essay about not just the Orlando shooting but about the nature of homophobia in general.
Ocean, who also happens to be gay, starts off by noting the horrendous persecution that LGBT people face under the Islamic State group, which routinely kills homosexuals by throwing them from the tops of buildings. He then reflects upon how he was taught to hate himself from a young age when he went to church and heard that gay people were filthy sinners who were going to hell.
“Many hate us and wish we didn’t exist,” he writes. “Many are annoyed by our wanting to be married like everyone else or use the correct restroom like everyone else. Many don’t see anything wrong with passing down the same old values that send thousands of kids into suicidal depression each year.”
He then changes to a more optimistic tone and muses that perhaps homophobia has seemingly gotten more intense in recent years because LGBT causes are frequently winning.
“I daydream on the idea that maybe all this barbarism and all these transgressions against ourselves is an equal and opposite reaction to something better happening in this world, some great swelling wave of openness and wakefulness out here,” he writes.