FashionSex & Gender

op-ed: frank oceans pens profound essay about pulse shooting, homophobic violence, and religion

June 21, 2016

Singer/songwriter/rapper Frank Ocean recently took to Tumblr to write this powerful essay about the Pulse nightclub shooting, homophobia in general, and religion’s part in it. It’s positively incomprehensible that the word that contextualizing queer identities and highlighting the very real, systematic and institutionalized hatred of and violence towards them continues to be something that needs to be said aloud. That there is an undeniable thread of homophobic violence that runs through Abrahamic religions, state sanctioned discrimination, personal beliefs that don’t “agree” with the “homosexual lifestyle” and the ultra violence inflicted on queer groups. That enables people like Pulse nightclub shooter to dehumanize and degrade. “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 (…) the same old values that send thousands of kids into suicidal depression each year. So we say pride & we express love for who & what we are. Because who else will in earnest?” Ocean writes.

By Erin White*, AFROPUNK contributor

*Erin White is an Atlanta-based writer and AFROPUNK’s editorial and social media assistant. You can follow her on Tumblr or friend her on Facebook. Have a pitch or an inquiry? Shoot her an email at