Frank Ocean reacts to Orlando: 'Many people hate us and wish we didn't exist'

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Frank Ocean posted an impassioned essay on Tuesday (June 21) taking on homophobia and transphobia, anti-LGBT bias, North Carolina's "bathroom bill," violence and intolerance in the wake of the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, saying, "many hate us and wish we didn't exist." In his lengthy Tumblr post, Ocean took on alleged crimes against the LGBT community overseas, invective in his church and a transphobic scene he observed with his dad early in life that seems to have created an irreparable rift with his father.

"I read in the paper that my brothers are being thrown from rooftops blindfolded with their hands tied behind their backs for violating sharia law," Ocean wrote. "I heard the crowds stone these fallen men if they move after they hit the ground. 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."

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Then, like so many others who were horrified and saddened by the killing of 49 and injuring of 53 at the Pulse by a man armed with a semi-automatic weapon and a handgun, Ocean reacted to the news and described how it reminded him of other traumatic incidents in his life.

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Review of r&b crooner Frank Ocean's debut Los Angeles showat the El Rey Theatre on Nov. 15, 2011 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
INDIO, CA - APRIL 13: Singer Frank Ocean performs onstage at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival held at The Empire Polo Field on April 13, 2012 in Indio, California. (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images for Coachella)
LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON -- Episode # 666 -- Pictured: Frank Ocean -- Photo by: (Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 06: Recording artist Frank Ocean arrives at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards at Staples Center on September 6, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 21: Singer Frank Ocean performs All Tomorrow's Parties Festival - Day 1 at Pier 36 on September 21, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)
Frank Ocean poses on arrival for the GQ Men of the Year Party at Chateau Marmont on Sunset Blvd., in Hollywood, California, on November 13, 2012. AFP PHOTO / Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 10: Singer Frank Ocean attends the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on February 10, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Vespa/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 10: Singer Frank Ocean arrives at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 10: Singer Frank Ocean accepts an award onstage at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 10: Singer Frank Ocean performs onstage at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 20: Frank Ocean poses with the International Male Solo Artist award in the press room at the Brit Awards 2013 at the 02 Arena on February 20, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Whitby/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 01: Frank Ocean attends the Christian Dior Fall/Winter 2013 Ready-to-Wear show as part of Paris Fashion Week on March 1, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Petroff/Dufour/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 05: Frank Ocean (L) and Princess Deena al-Juhani-Abdulaziz attend the Chanel Fall/Winter 2013 Ready-to-Wear show as part of Paris Fashion Week at Grand Palais on March 5, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 23: Frank Ocean attends the 2013 Time 100 Gala at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 23, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 23: Frank Ocean attends TIME 100 Gala, TIME'S 100 Most Influential People In The World at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 23, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage for TIME)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - MAY 04: Frank Ocean performs on stage on Day 6 of New Orleans Jazz Festival on May 4, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by David Redfern/Redferns via Getty Images)
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"I heard on the news that the aftermath of a hate crime left piles of bodies on a dance floor this month," he wrote. "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."

Ocean, who has not released a new full-length since his Grammy-winning 2012 album Channel Orange, continued: "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."

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To read Ocean's full essay, click here.


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