The Side-Eye: Frank Ocean Called The “Gay Rosa Parks” For Coming Out the Closet

Frank Ocean’s coming out of the closet continues to be one of the most talked about subjects in music.

And although many in the African American community are happy that Frank has decided to be honest about his sexual preference, many are outraged about the comments of one writer who has labeled Frank as the gay Rosa Parks and leader of music artists coming out of the closet.

The writer claims:

…Rosa Parks, who was down with the NAACP, was heralded as a heroine of the Civil Rights Movement for her unwillingness to give up her bus seat to a White man as she rested on her weary feet on that fate-filled day in a 1955 Alabama. But her move was a well-timed act as well, as it was a supremely strategic move. Enter Claudette Colvin.

Before Rosa Parks, there was Claudette Colvin. Colvin was a 15-year-old G from what I’ve gathered. She was a young, scrappy, and militant kid when she refused to give up her seat to a White person, a full nine months before her elder counterpart, Parks. Colvin was studying the injustices that were going on in 1955, analyzing the life of Black leaders and was ready for whatever was to come.

In her 2009 book, Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, she explained why Parks was selected. To NPR, she said, “Her skin texture was the kind that people associate with the middle class. She fit that profile.” Parks was also the secretary for the NAACP and had the backing of the local chapter to start the boycott that would cripple the racist busing system.

So, Frank Ocean is the Gay Hip-Hop Movement’s Rosa Parks, whether dissonant voices admit it or not. Rosa Parks wasn’t the first to get arrested for not giving up her seat. But, she was the first, some say, to fit an ideal that matched the delicate needs of the Dr. Martin Luther King-led push for equal rights. And, like Parks, Ocean is relatively safe, whereas Colvin was a militant that eventually relocated to Harlem in the midst of a cultural revolution living among the likes of Malcolm X

We’re not too sure about this comparison. Why does Frank even have to be the “gay Rosa Parks?” Can’t he just be black man, who’s gay who just got tired of lying about who he was to other people?

Do you think Frank’s decision to come out the closet lends itself to the Civil Rights Movement?

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