Singer Frank Ocean Of Odd Future Comes Out As Gay


It is a Happy Independence Day for R&B singer Frank Ocean, of the music collective Odd Future, because today he is celebrating the freedom to be himself by coming out publicly as a gay man. Last night, Ocean posted a poignant and poetic letter on his official website making very clear that he is a gay man. Other outlets are suggesting Ocean’s letter shows him to be bisexual but that is not at all the interpretation that I get from the letter. Like many gay men, Ocean tried to have romantic relationships with women (in order to try and fit in with convention) but, as his letter makes clear, those relationships were not fulfilling … not like the first love he felt for another man. Just because he attempted relationships with women does not, necessarily, make him bisexual. Click below to learn more about Frank Ocean’s brave coming out and read the text of his beautiful letter in full.

Ocean writes in part:

In the last year or 3 I’ve screamed at my creator, screamed at the clouds in the sky, for some explanation. Mercy maybe. For peace of mind to rain like manna somehow. 4 summer ago, I met somebody. I was 19 years old. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost… Sleep I would often share with him. By the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless. There was no escaping.

He continues “I don’t know what happens now, and that’s alrite. I don’t have any secrets I need kept anymore… Thanks to my first love, I’m grateful for you. Grateful that even though it wasn’t what I hoped for and even though it was never enough, it was… I feel like a free man. If I listen closely… I can hear the sky falling too.” The news comes just days after a review of Ocean’s upcoming “Orange Channel” album claimed the singer “[opens] up about his sexuality on the album” and noted that “…on the songs ‘Bad Religion’ ‘Pink Matter and ‘Forrest Gump’ you can hear him sing about being in love and there are quite obvious words used like ‘him’ and not ‘her’.”

It’s important to note that the grossly homophobic rapper Tyler the Creator is also a member of Odd Future but unlike the previous ugliness that he has publicly espoused, Tyler (in his own crass way) is lending his support and love to Ocean in the wake of his coming out. Tyler the Creator tweeted:

Fucking Finally Sus Boy @frank_ocean Hahahaha, You Still Aint Got No Bitches Hahaha My Ni**a Dawg / OFWGKTA. / My Big Brother Finally Fucking Did That. Proud Of That Ni**a Cause I Know That Shit Is Difficult Or Whatever. Anyway. Im A Toilet. / AY BITCHES, IMA START SINGING SO LIKE, ALL OF FRANKS BITCHES CAN YOU COME OVER HERE AND LIKE HOLLA AT YA BOY

It may be difficult to decipher but Tyler is, first, joking around with Frank by saying — now that he has come out — that he no longer has any women. Tyler says he is proud of his big brother Frank for coming out because it’s not easy to do. Tyler then tells all the women out there who love Frank Ocean the singer that he is going to start “singing like Frank” so that they can love him instead. He sounds like a swell guy, don’t he? Honestly, this doesn’t make me a Tyler the Creator fan but at the very least, I am impressed that he is offering his own brand of support to his friend.

Again, while some people may respond to Frank’s coming out with a resounding “who cares”, I feel that the more people who come out and the more those coming outs are considered non-issues, the less need there will be for coming out in the first place. Ocean’s coming out is significant because there aren’t many African American artists out there brave enough to come out as gay. I’m very happy that Frank finally felt ready to come out (tho, I understand this letter was originally meant to be published in the liner notes of Ocean’s forthcoming debut album Channel Orange but after a UK blogger threatened to out him, he decided to release the letter in this way, on his own terms). I am so impressed by the poetic nature of Ocean’s writing, I’m now very interested in checking out his music. I’m not sure if his coming out with win him new fans like myself but at least he can rest in the knowledge that he no longer has to hide who he is … he is now free.

[Source, Source]

  • mabel

    First Andersoon Cooper, now Frank’s been a great week!! n__n

    • @mabel — I know! Can’t wait to see who’s next :)

    • Jean

      who’s next? The Weeknd lol =P

  • Drew

    I don’t think he’s come out as strictly gay, but he’s at least bisexual.

    • Drew

      I understand your point, Trent, but I really feel like he left it open-ended enough.

    • @Drew — In the end, it doesn’t really matter. Many people consider someone who is bisexual to be “not as gay”, which is silly. These are labels that, essentially, amount to nothing. I have had girlfriends, in an attempt to fit in. It was only when I was honest with myself that I truly accepted who I am. Just because I had romantic relationships with women does not make me bisexual.

    • kayman

      Uh, you can only speak for yourself. He is obviously bisexual , so one can assume “gay” if you want to but he is what he is, bisexual.

    • @kayman — Of course I only speak for myself. But what is “obvious” to you is not necessarily “obvious” to others. You, too, are making assumptions :)

    • drew. he’s gay. get over it. you’re making it awkward. lol….. frank ocean is gay gay gay gayyyy. this is the most interesting news to come out of r&b/hip hop in a while! so glad we are don’t talking abut douche bag chris brown and drakes bar fight…. THIS is way more interesting and exciting.

    • Drew

      It doesn’t matter, you’re right. I just feel like he probably wouldn’t label himself at all. Everything he has written about seems to point to him being the sort of person that falls in love with the person, not the gender. So for you to label him with such a definite term seems to take away from his message. He’s not gay, he’s not straight. He’s something in between, and it doesn’t matter. I just find it odd to get all rigid on terms when it seems even Frank doesn’t care for them.

    • Drew

      Also, I’m gay myself, lorili, so I find his “coming out” incredibly exciting. Not just because it’s great that he’s on “our team”, so to speak, but also because he is probably one of the most intelligent men in music at the moment. Watch his interviews. This guy is smart as a whip, handsome to boot, and a brilliant musician. I love him to death, and this announcement only fortifies that. Gay, bisexual, or whatever. I’m glad he feels he can be himself.

  • fmx

    I haven’t listened to his music yet but hopefully now artists like Tyler will be a bit more sensitive in their language because of how it affects those close to them.

  • Yasmin

    I think this is huge. Not as mainstream as AC, of course, but so important for the hip hop community. Frank Ocean may not be that famous (yet) but there has been a lot of buzz around him and he was definitely talked about, eve before him coming out. I am really happy to read that Tyler is supportive. I, too, was putt off by his extremely homophobic language in the past, but he said all along that it wasn’t meant that way and that he was not homophobic at all and I guess he wasn’t lying. (I still can’t get behind the language, though. Can’t imagine it having been easy for FO to hear his friend(s) talk like that.) I hope a lot of people, especially other R&B singers and rappers will throw their support behind Frank Ocean!

    • ChristineLA

      I completely agree with you, this is huge in a way that Anderson Cooper finally saying what was blatantly obvious was not.

  • Cameron

    I think this is so important for not only the gay community, but the hip-hop and African-American community. I believe there to be many homophobic individuals in the hip-hop and African-American communities and Frank speaking out about his sexuality can only make the issue more aware and people more understanding. Frank Ocean is an amazing musical artist. I’ve been following him for quite some time and I am so excited for the release of “Channel Orange”.

    This is a brave thing that Frank has done. I hope he garners much respect in his personal and professional lives.

  • Akili

    Love Frank Ocean. Love his music. There were rumors about his sexuality for a while now, but I thought what he wrote was eloquent and beautiful. Can’t wait for his debut album :)

  • Juneh

    This man.. I love him even more now! :D

  • muchacha

    I too think this is important, not only for global social progressiveness but particularly for the hip-hop community. I am curious as to what Shannon’s thoughts are?

    • muchacha and EVERYONE, this is a much bigger moment than I can even understand. Frank Ocean may not be a mainstream hip-hop or R&B artist but he is loved, respected, and endorsed by so many artists who are that it doesn’t matter if a lot of people have not heard of him. It is almost universally agreed upon that he is responsible for much of the greatness of Watch The Throne (the biggest rap album last year), so this statement is no small potatoes.

      Homophobia is a problem everywhere, but I agree with Cameron and muchacha and Yasmin about the specific relationship hip-hop and the black community have with this issue. People may not want to make it a race issue, but of course it is (among other things)– black men and black male artists like rappers are known for being hyper-masculine (which often translates to misogynistic) BECAUSE they were not considered to be MEN for hundreds of years in America (and yes, because some of them are just douchebags). In another conversation we could make a similar argument about black femme rappers/artists and their tendency towards hyper-sexuality (having not been considered ‘real’ women for so long).

      In the short time that I’ve known Trent and worked at PITNB I’ve come to have a new appreciation and respect for moments like this. I’m excited to see what happens next and to see the positive conversations that come about as a result of Frank’s beautifully written love letter to men, women, life, and art.

    • muchacha

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts Shannon. I would love to her your more of your thoughts on the hyper-masculinity/femininity exhibited in rap art today in its historical context as well as with regard to homophobia. I too am excited for the possible positive change that Frank Ocean’s statement can bring to the community that I so admire. Thanks again :)

    • ChristineLA

      I could not agree more, Shannon. This is huge!

  • Trent, if you listen to Frank Ocean, I think his cover and remake of Coldplay’s “Strawberry Swing” would be the perfect introduction to you. I am very excited for equality right now!

  • Tracy

    I don’t know who this man is but I send my support. I know it was probably the hardest thing he has ever done. GOD SPEED!

  • cutitout

    Its good for him but the bottom line is, the industry is driven by girl-lust and on some level he kind of killed that very important angle. If Bieber came out, i doubt these 14 year olds would be trying to tip his bus anymore. So it will be interesting to see what comes of this in the long run. It really doesn’t mean anything because he has alwas been gay, however the question is will he still be singing hooks for major hip hop artist? Will straight hip hop fans still groove to songs about him getting it in with a dude? Good for him personally and his coming out was brave but the actual “statement” that really matters is the one made by the collective and what they do with this.

  • Ryan

    So …um, is the same guy that made a ten-minute song that was posted recently ooooor was that someone else?

    • Ryan, yes, you’re right. Pyramids is Frank’s song.

  • justin

    justin bieber next please