Frank Ocean and the coming out
Published: Friday, July 6, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
The longer I’ve been in this business of “knowing a lot about a lot,” I’ve learned to never believe the first thing I hear. Rumors are just that: rumors. They hold a minute amount of truth with an ample amount of fabrications.
The rare ones are half right. But right when I heard about the bisexual allegations toward Frank Ocean I was like ‘no way, this is what y’all are going to do with arguably the top songbird of our generation?’
The rumors surfaced that Frank Ocean was bisexual from a few tracks off of his upcoming channel ORANGE album where the “typical” pronoun “she” had been replaced with “he,” obviously speaking on love interests with men instead of women. But channel ORANGE doesn’t come out until July 17, so I wasn’t going to make any type of assumptions until I heard the actual tracks for myself.
Well aware of the rumors and speculations running rampant, Ocean took to his Tumblr in the early hours of July 4 to face the music. The first post went as follows:
“BASEDGOD [rapper Lil B] WAS RIGHT,” Ocean wrote. “We’re all a bunch of golden million dollar babies. my hope is that the babies born these days will inherit less of the bullsh*t than we did. anyhow, what i’m about to post is for anyone who cares to read. it was intended to fill the thank you’s section in my album credits, but with all the rumors going round.. i figured it’d be good to clarify...”
Two agonizing minutes later, Ocean posted a screen shot of the “thank you’s,” originally written December 2011.
The writing spoke on how four summers ago, when Ocean was 19, he had a close relationship with a close friend. His friend was a man, and he discusses how they spent their days with each other, realizing that that relationship was his first true love.
“I feel like a free man. If I listen closely … I can hear the sky falling too,” Ocean concluded.
There it was. The truth catapulted into the world of social networks via Tumblr and Twitter, where millions upon millions were going to view and judge.
And honestly, I respect him that much more for this courageous act of vulnerability.
Coming out is a pivotal moment in a gay person’s life. You’re differentiating yourself from a world that stereotypically views homosexuality as wrong. And to be an icon that flocks of people really listen to makes this act so much more critical.
In the second paragraph, Ocean wrote “I don’t know what happens now…” The uncertainty was valid because he easily could’ve been shunned by his genre of music and its supporters.
But he finished the sentence stating “…that’s alright.” He was content with just getting this “secret” off of his chest, yet another reason he gains respect from me.
Music I relate to and label the best contains honesty, and some of the greatest artists of all time and most relevant were/are the honest ones. Ocean admitted something extremely personal to us when he didn’t have to. He could’ve easily made those “he’s” “she’s,” but he wouldn’t have been real with himself and his following.
What’s crazy, though, is that there are going to be people who will no longer listen to Frank Ocean because of his sexual preference. I’ve personally heard people say “Nah, he’s gay, I can’t support that.”
A lot of songwriters are openly gay. Homosexuality is prominent in the fashion world, and many designers are also openly gay. Y’all can’t be serious.
I’ve listened to “Thinking About You,” Frank’s latest single, 167 times from start to finish on my iTunes, and that doesn’t count all those restless times I’ve started it over with four seconds remaining.
But even after his coming out, whether that song was about another man or not, it’s really how I relate to the song. I relate it to women, some specific ones, but if you’re the type to find out Ocean is gay and then completely stop listening to him after you’re a fan then you have insecurities you have to deal with.
Homophobic people, in my opinion, are really people who are mad at themselves for being attracted to other men. If a song is good, then it’s good.
And honestly music is so special because even though it is from one specific person, it speaks on emotion that we can all relate to. Relate to the feeling, not the exact person, race or sex the feeling is being directed to. That’s what matters. That’s music.
Other than the ignorant comments, the rest of the world and industry have been very supportive of Ocean’s coming out. Appraisals have come from the heads of his recording label, Def Jam, and of course the OFWGKTA crew who already knew but are happy that the burden was lifted off their singing comrade’s shoulders.
I was really curious to see how this would affect his career and I haven’t been surprised when it has only improved it. He’s really about to make bread! And he’s no question the new hero of thousands of people now.
All in all, good for him. It’s wild how much I respect him for this. I mean it always sucks when feelings given aren’t returned, but the learning is the best part. Helps you grow as a person.
And I’m glad and proud that he lifted that revelation – that massive burden – off his mind. I’m still a fan. I don’t see that stopping.
(Now Playing) Thinking About You.