Frank Ocean has responded to criticism of PrEP+, a new party he began hosting on Thursday (October 17, 2019) night in Queens. On Tumblr, Ocean first made clear the event is an independent venture that receives no funding from the drug company that manufactures PrEP+.
In respond to accusations of erasure, Ocean on Tumblr wrote in part, “I started to imagine in an era where so many lives were lost and so much promise was lost forever along with them, what would it have been like if something, anything had existed that in all probability would’ve saved thousands and thousands of lives. I’m an artist, it’s core to my job to imagine realities that don’t necessarily exist and it’s a joy to.”
He added, “A couple days before we threw the party, I was discussing this subject with my team and one of the architects I work with thought that PrEP as a drug had reached ‘100% saturation’ so far as awareness. I thought he was dead wrong so I asked a friend (who I won’t name haha) if he knew what PrEP was and his response was ‘isn’t that some type of viagra or something’. My ex who I was with for several years didn’t know about it when we first met at a gay club in LA.”
Read the original story below.
Singer/songwriter Frank Ocean has expanded his musical reach with the open of a queer-friendly party in New York. Called PrEP+, the club opened its doors to an invite-only crowd on Thursday night (October 18, 2019) at Knockdown Center in Queens. French duo Justice headlined the event, which also included a set by New York DJ and producer SXYLK.
While PrEP+ house rules ban recording devices, some video has slipped out showing Ocean DJing and previewing what is thought to be new, dance-themed music.
Ocean foreshadowed the new era In a recent W Magazine cover story, where he explained, “I’ve been interested in club, and the many different iterations of nightlife for music and songs. And so the things I look at now have a lot to do with those scenes: Detroit, Chicago, techno, house, French electronic…”
There has been some push back on the party’s theme, which envisions “what could have been of the 1980s’ NYC club scene if the drug PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) — which can be taken daily to prevent HIV/AIDs for those who are not infected but are at high risk — had been invented in that era.”
Some have pointed that the idea of a world without AIDS sounds wonderful but in reality erases the lives of the people who died from AIDS and all they accomplished while still living, and at the same time ignores the political fall out of the disease as well as the activist movements it spurred.
On Twitter, artist and performer Charlene Incarnate wrote, “Prep came after 30+ years of death and carnage in our community, grassroots organizing, and fighting a bureaucracy that was glad to let us die. You can’t just say what if we had it the whole time? And then fill the room wall to wall with breeders.”
Incarnate’s reference to “breeders” was in response to feedback that the PrEP+ opening night guest list included a large number of heterosexuals.
Below, check additional feedback on the club’s name, along with the song snippets and the announcement.