Frank Ocean Is Gay: A Ten-Point History of Coming Out in Music, From Bowie to Lance Bass

Frank Ocean Is Gay: A Ten-Point History of Coming Out in Music, From Bowie to Lance Bass

Odd Future crooner Frank Ocean recently opened up on Tumblr about falling in love with a man, and the blogosphere is buzzing with stories about gay Franky.

But we're stuck on how modern this whole coming-out ceremony has become. Gays, bisexuals, and lesbians have been a big part of the music industry forever. But they've only recently begun to see their lifestyles accepted.

Let's take a look at the history of coming out in music and reflect on just how hard these folks fought to be themselves.


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He was a piano virtuoso and brilliant showman, bringing colorful flamboyance and love of music into American homes with The Liberace Show in the early '50s. Back then, you could get away with wearing loud, sequined suits, and matching shoes without even arousing suspicions. Sort of.

Throughout his life, Liberace denied that he was homosexual, once suing the UK's Daily Mirror for about $22,000 for simply implying it. At the time, admitting his sexuality would've been career suicide, and he died in 1987 without ever coming clean.

Lifelong friend and beard Betty White confirmed his homosexuality for the world in 2011. Still, though he spent his life in hiding, Liberace was an inspiration to many to be themselves.

Little Richard

He was "the architect of rock 'n' roll," helping build that brick house in the '50s with classic hits such as "Tutti Frutti," "Long, Tall Sally," and "Good Golly Miss Molly." But he struggled to overcome the prejudices of his time. Being famous and black wasn't easy, not to mention homosexual.

Having had relations with both sexes, Little Richard has admitted to gay experiences growing up. But he claims to have changed after being "born again" in the late '50s, explaining that homosexuality was a contagious disease to be overcome. This rock legend's life has been fraught with drug abuse, dark periods, and religious revivals, and we wonder what it might have been like if he could have just been comfortable with himself.

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