Frank Ocean Comes Out
Via a letter posted to his Tumblr.
Frank Ocean, who we interviewed for Oyster #93, has come out via an (incredibly well-written) letter posted on his Tumblr.
The letter tells the story of when he was 19-years-old — "4 summers ago" — when he spent "every day almost" with another man, saying "sleep I would often share with him." He describes the boy, who was also 19, as his first love. "By the time I realised I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless. There was no escaping. No negotiating with the feeling. No choice," he writes.
He explains telling the boy how he felt — "I wept as the words left my mouth. I grieved for them, knowing I could never take them back for myself" — and how his companion "wouldn't admit the same," and that his girlfriend waited for him upstairs. Frank explains maintaining a "peculiar friendship" with him because "I couldn't imagine keeping up my life without him."
Frank suggests that writing his debut album, Channel Orange, was cathartic. "Before writing this I'd told some people my story. I'm sure these people kept me alive," he writes, also adding, "I don't have any secrets I need kept anymore." He finishes the letter by saying, "I feel like a free man. If I listen closely... I can hear the sky falling too."
He also explained on Tumblr before posting the letter, written late last year, that it was "intended to fill the thank you's section in my album credits, but with all the rumors going round... I figure it'd be good to clarify." One such rumour was spurred by BBC1 Radio 1Xtra presenter Max, who said, after attending a listening party for Channel Orange, "Frank has also opened up about his sexuality on the album... On the songs 'Bad Religion', 'Pink Matter' and 'Forrest Gump' you can hear him sing about being in love and their are quite obvious words used like 'him' and not 'her."
You may remember that last year the Odd Future collective, of which Frank is a member, were dropped from Auckland's Big Day Out line-up due to their homophobic lyrics (even though their only female member, Syd tha Kyd, is a lesbian).