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Frank Ocean penned an emotional letter on homophobia that everyone should read.

Frank Ocean's letter is both heartbreaking and a necessary read.

Has anyone seen Frank Ocean lately?

Fans have been anxiously awaiting new music from the 28-year-old singer/songwriter and rapper, but it’s very clear that Ocean has been using his time to attack some bigger issues.


What are you up to, Frank?

In a heartfelt letter published on Ocean’s personal Tumblr, the artist penned some tear-jerking words about growing up in a homophobic environment.

He also discussed transphobia and his heartbreak about the Orlando massacre:

"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. 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. I heard on the news that the aftermath of a hate crime left piles of bodies on a dance floor this month. 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. 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. Reality by comparison looks grey, as in neither black nor white but also bleak. 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?"

In 2012, Ocean changed the dynamics of the hip-hop community forever by opening up about his own sexuality before releasing his Grammy-nominated album, "Channel Orange."

Ocean's discussion of falling in love with his male best friend — an unrequited love addressed repeatedly throughout the album — was a first in the hip-hop industry, ruffling the feathers of some of his fellow rappers and listeners.

Artists like T-Pain insisted that Ocean wouldn't find fellow musicians willing to collaborate with him, and some of Ocean's fans declared they were done with his music.

Frank Ocean performing during the 2014 Bonnaroo Music Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images.

But Ocean has, in fact, collaborated with many top artists since then. He has several awards under his belt too, including two Grammys.

Rappers like Jay-Z have supported Ocean too, and while hip-hop is notoriously known to push out anti-gay lyrics, many listeners are asking for increased inclusivity in the genre thanks to Ocean's honesty.


Frank Ocean performs at the 2012 Oya music festival in Oslo. Photo credit by Vegard Grøtt/AFP/Getty Images.

With transphobic bathroom bills floating around several states, the recent massacre in Orlando, and staunch opposition to LGBTQ rights around the world, Ocean's words matter.

His honesty and transparent pain are needed in the hip-hop industry now more than ever.

Hip-hop artists like Ocean should continue to express themselves in a way that is inclusive of marginalized groups.

Most recently, rapper Kid Cudi not only slammed homophobia in U.S., but he also vowed to implement change in the hip-hop community, showing us all how to put action behind our words.

While many of us are still waiting anxiously for Ocean to bring more awesome music to the charts, it's been incredible to watch him truly express himself in written words too.

Thanks, Frank.

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After the Orlando shooting, the world came together to make sure love can still win.

In response to the tragedy in Orlando, people came together in grieving and solidarity.

Hate is a hard feeling to get past. Tragedies like the shooting in Orlando remind us that hate — true, poisonous hate — not only exists, but can exist so potently as to snuff out human life.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.


In the wake of such tragedies, however, we also see images that help restore humanity to a world constantly under attack.

We see images of solidarity, tears, and held hands. We see candles and flowers laid on the ground by strangers. We see images of people from all walks of life, across oceans and international borders, coming together to show that hate is vastly outnumbered by the acts of love and compassion that fight it.

Photo by Dario Pignatelli/Getty Images.

In the coming days, you’ll find endless discussion about where we go from here. How do we prevent tragedies like this from happening in the future? How does this affect policy? What president should we elect? How do we win the fight against hate?

Here are some of the most iconic responses to the Orlando shooting from around the world.

In New York, members of the LGBT community and their supporters gathered outside the Stonewall Inn, site of the 1969 riots that helped launch the modern gay rights movement.

Photo by Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images.

Many cities, like San Diego, flew the gay pride flag at half-mast above and outside landmarks.

Photo by Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images.

New York City's One World Trade Center was among the buildings lit up in rainbow colors as a tribute to the Orlando victims.

Photo by Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images.

But perhaps the most powerful statements were ones made by ordinary people, brought together by a flood of emotion.

In cities around the world, people gathered in solidarity with the victims of the shooting and with the larger LGBT community itself.

Dallas:

Photo by Laura Buckman/AFP/Getty Images.

Chicago:

Photo by Nova Safo/AFP/Getty Images.

Washington, D.C.:

Photo by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images.

Mumbai, India:

Photo by Punit Paranjpe/AFP/Getty Images.

Sydney, Australia:

Photo by William West/AFP/Getty Images.

Berlin:

Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images.

Seoul, South Korea:

Photo by Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images.

Hong Kong:

Photo by Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images.

Bangkok:

Photo by Dario Pignatelli/Getty Images.

Wellington, New Zealand:

Photo by Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images.

Love is stronger than hate. Telling ourselves that is important, but it means little if we don't believe it and act on it too.

It's easy to feel as though the world is beyond saving or to give in to cynicism. But there's a lesson to be learned here, a lesson that exists in the images of flickering candles, flags, and lit-up monuments from all over the world.

Love has already won. We’ve already won.

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11 small ways to feel less helpless this week, from a trained therapist.

If you feel helpless following the Orlando shooting, you're not alone.

On the morning of June 12, 2016, I’d imagine that you, like me, woke up to the story of the Orlando, Florida, mass shooting in the Pulse nightclub.

Like mine, your social media newsfeed was probably flooded with stories about the tragedy.


Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images.

And perhaps you, like me, felt your stomach sink and your heart grow heavy. Another mass shooting. The worst in recent U.S. history. And one where the clear intent seems to be terror and hate.

When I first heard the news, I felt a sense of defeat come over me and a sort of numbness settled in.

Intellectually, I got it: “Another mass shooting, a hate crime, ties to ISIS. This is absolutely terrible but not too surprising,” my brain said. But I wasn’t feeling the emotional pain of it just yet.

Then I watched the faces on the news and the photos of people lined up to donate blood, and I imagined what those victims must have planned as a fun, carefree night. I was struck by the horror of what it means when the places we gather for fun and entertainment are no longer safe. I was gripped by the sheer senseless tragedy of life when people are targeted for their sexual orientation.

If you, like me, feel more than just a little bit helpless, angry, and numb than usual, I want you to know you’re not alone.

As a fellow human affected by the events in Orlando, I join you in all these feelings. There’s helplessness, anger, shock, sadness, numbness, and desensitization. And as a professional psychotherapist, I can also tell you that these feelings are a completely normal and natural reaction to the stress of observing and processing traumatic global events.

In this post-9/11 world, we’re witnessing more and more local, national, and global tragedies every day.

Each of them is like a little trauma, a wound on our individual and collective psyches, aggravated each time a new and heartbreaking tragedy unfolds and enters our lives through immediate or distanced observation. This mass shooting in Orlando, compounded with all the other tragedies our generation has witnessed, feels like so much to hold.

Photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images.

With all these feelings and emotions comes an even bigger question though: What can we DO about it, so as not to feel helpless, alone, and stuck?

To help you hold the weight of this world, I want to offer some actionable suggestions for things you can do this week, both psychologically and socially. Hopefully, these small things will help you process, feel less helpless, and even help those around you this week:

1. Acknowledge and feel your feelings. All of them.

There’s no such thing as a bad feeling (though some may feel more comfortable than others). Allow yourself to feel today, tomorrow, and this week, and to be with whatever comes up for you around this. Process your feelings safely and constructively.

2. Don’t isolate. Connect.

Connect with your loved ones, your local community, your larger communities (even if by phone or over social media). Share how you’re feeling. Talk it out, let others hold space for you while you hold space for them.

3. Limit your media consumption if needed.

This is so important with news being blasted at us from every angle. Monitor how much news and content about the tragedy you can tolerate before it starts to feel like too much.

4. Refocus on your self-care and healthy coping resources.

Garden, cook, knit, craft, go for a long walk, journal, sit outside in the sun. Do whatever you know helps you feel grounded, safe, and healthy.

5. Stick to your routines.

Routines and schedules can be incredibly grounding in times of stress. Keep up your daily and weekly rituals.

6. Exercise.

Moving your body can help process and metabolize the stress and anxiety you may be feeling. Add in an extra walk or two and really make grounding and focusing on your body a priority.

7. Dance, draw, paint, or photograph your feelings about this.

Create art and process your experience through creation.

8. Turn toward supports and ask for help.

If you need additional resources, book a session with a therapist, speak to your local clergy, or call up a trusted mentor. Let those who care about you help you.

9. Get involved in any way that you can.

Donate blood, send money, participate in activism around gun-control laws, help staff a help line, bring food and water to those in line to donate blood.

10. Host or join a community process group.

Check out your local YMCA or church or university offerings to see if they’re hosting a support group for those impacted by the tragedy. If none are offered, consider hosting one with a friend or local helping resource.

11. Pray.

Yes, pray. Whether you believe in God, Allah, Gaia, or Universal Spirit, close your eyes and ask something greater than you for guidance in troubled times. Receive the support that can come from being in prayer.

Being a human is often scary, overwhelming, and vulnerable.

Tragedies like the Orlando shooting illuminate the fragility and unpredictability of life. I think that, for most of us, this can be a very hard thing to face.

Part of the pain and terror of the recent shooting in Orlando, specifically, is that we were reminded, yet again, that the places where we convene to celebrate and to play are not necessarily safe.

The shooting in Orlando also reminds us that murderous hate is alive and active, especially toward certain communities. And lacking national gun regulation laws makes it easier for people to act out on their anger.

But these same tragedies can call upon us to open ourselves up too.

They call on us to be more vulnerable, to be more fully alive and in touch with our feelings, to be more compassionate and caring toward others, and to be more active and peaceful in our politics and social engagements.

Photo by Daniel Munoz/Getty Images.

These same tragedies can remind us of the preciousness of life, if we allow them to.

Please, take good care of yourself this week. Seek out the support and resources you may need to deal with how the events in Orlando affected you.

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Obama nailed why we can't forget the Orlando shooting was at an LGBTQ club.

'No act of hate or terror will ever change who we are or the values that make us Americans.'

In the early hours of June 12, 2016, a gunman opened fire at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images.


Pulse is an LGBTQ nightclub. That the attack happened there was no coincidence. It appears the gunman — who pledged allegiance to the Islamic state the night he killed at least 50 people — reportedly held deeply homophobic attitudes.

Sunday afternoon, President Obama addressed the nation, highlighting what made this most recent act of terror unique.

While the president confirmed the FBI is investigating the incident and thanked the courageous first responders who saved many lives, he also made a point to note why the location of this attack should not be overlooked.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

"This is an especially heartbreaking day for all our friends — our fellow Americans — who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender," he said in his speech. "The shooter targeted a nightclub where people came together to be with friends, to dance and to sing, and to live."

"The place where they were attacked is more than a nightclub — it is a place of solidarity and empowerment where people have come together to raise awareness, to speak their minds, and to advocate for their civil rights."

The president is right. Dating back to the Stonewall Riots of the 1960s, LGBTQ nightclubs and bars have been much more than just spaces to have fun on a Friday night. These venues are where people have organized, protested, pushed for progress, and found safe spaces amid a hostile outside world.

This wasn't just an attack on Americans writ large — it was an attack on the freedoms that LGBTQ people have rallied for for decades.

"No act of hate or terror will ever change who we are or the values that make us Americans," Obama said.

The president also used his speech to highlight the continued need to act against gun violence.

Sunday morning's tragedy — the deadliest shooting in American history — is yet another example of why rampant gun violence in the U.S. is a uniquely American phenomenon.

"This massacre is therefore a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school, or in a house of worship, or a movie theater, or in a nightclub," Obama said.

"And we have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be. And to actively do nothing is a decision as well."

Photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images.

June is pride month across the country. As we celebrate progress made while honoring those who lost their lives in Orlando, let's also remember what inspires us to keep fighting: hope.

As LGBTQ rights activist Harvey Milk once said, "The only thing they have to look forward to is hope. And you have to give them hope."

"Hope for a better world, hope for a better tomorrow, hope for a better place to come to if the pressures at home are too great. Hope that all will be all right."

Photo by Max Whittaker/Getty Images.

Watch Obama's speech addressing the Orlando mass shooting: