Frank Ocean’s Post About The Orlando Shooting Is Required Reading

A lot of times, it’s better to wait a little bit before you say anything. In fact, it’s probably always better to wait. People who don’t necessarily need to comment right away and choose to wait a little bit, letting their thoughts and feelings settle before reacting, are better off — like Frank Ocean, who wrote a piece about Orlando on his Tumblr. It’s somehow not a poem, but a poem, and not a story, but there is a story in there. It’s just a really fucking beautiful piece of prose. It’s required reading, or at the very least should be, for anyone who is human.

It’s about hate, hypocrisy, being gay, feeling terrible, and finding whatever god you want. It’s pretty powerful all around. “I heard on the news that the aftermath of a hate crime left piles of bodies on a dance floor this month,” he writes. “I heard the gunman feigned dead among all the people he killed. I heard the news say he was one of us.”

But it’s hopeful, too, as much as it is heartbreaking:

“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.”

Frank Ocean
CREDIT: Jason Merritt /Getty Images

Ocean is a powerful musician, but at heart, he’s also an artist. Last year, he wrote about falling in love with a man for the first time, and it’s one of those coming out stories that you just want to pass around and make sure everyone reads — for whatever separate reasons you want them to read a story like that. Like his Orlando post, it’s sort of required reading. He wrote, “I felt like I’d only imagine reciprocity for years. Imagine being thrown from a cliff. No, I wasn’t on a cliff, I was still in my car telling myself it was gonna be fine and to take deep breaths.”

In his Orlando post, he writes about “us,” but it’s also a lot about just being fucking human. He says:

“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 wanna know what others hear, I’m scared to know but I wanna know what everyone hears when they talk to God. Do the insane hear the voice distorted? Do the indoctrinated hear another voice entirely.”

If only everyone stopped a minute to collect themselves before they strung their thoughts together. You should read the whole thing — the beautiful words might even make you feel better about the situation.