Frank Ocean has taken to social media to share a heartfelt statement regarding the Orlando shooting.
Ocean sparked conversation around homophobia in hip hop and R&B when he came out in 2012, around the same time his hit album Channel Orange was released.
Lyrics on the album pertained to same-sex relationships, and Ocean also made a Tumblr blog post which simply told the story of his first love.
"I was 19 years old. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost ... 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," he wrote.
Now, Ocean - who usually keeps out of the public sphere - has taken to Tumblr again to address Orlando, in which he speaks on witnessing his father's transphobia, and how he hopes for a better future.
You can read the full statement below:
I heard it's in the name of God. 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. I heard the news say he was one of us. 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. Many hate us and wish we didn't exist. 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. So we say pride and we express love for who and what we are. Because who else will in earnest? 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. Reality by comparison looks grey, as in neither black nor white but also bleak. We are all God's children, I heard. I left my siblings out of it and spoke with my maker directly and I think he sounds a lot like myself. If I, being myself, were more awesome at being detached from my own story in a way I, being myself, never could be. I want to know what others hear, I'm scared to know but I want to know what everyone hears when they talk to God. Do the insane hear the voice distorted? Do the indoctrinated hear another voice entirely?"
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