Frank Ocean Comes Out

Tom Breihan | July 4, 2012 - 12:24 pm

In a post on his Tumblr, Frank Ocean, the buttery-genius R&B singer from the Odd Future crew, has essentially come out of the closet. He never says anything as plain as “I’m gay,” but he does open up, telling a story about falling in love with a man:

4 summers ago, I met somebody. I was 19 years old. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Every day almost, and on the day we were together, time would glide. Most of the day I’d see him, and his smile. By the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless.

He ends the beautifully written narrative by saying, “I feel like a free man. If I listen closely… I can hear the sky falling too.” Read the full statement here.

In an earlier post, Ocean announces that the story had meant to stand in as the thank-you section on Channel Orange, his forthcoming album:

we’re all a bunch of golden million dollar babies. my hope is that the babies born these days will inherit less of the bullshit 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..

Rap and R&B have come a long way toward in the past few years, moving away from homophobia, but it still runs rampant in that wing of the music business, and Ocean is the first artist of his stature to make an announcement like this. It goes without saying that this took a ton of bravery and candor on Ocean’s part, and it’s a great display of personal character.

Odd Future, of course, got in a ton of hot water for violently homophobic lyrics when they first emerged on the scene two years ago, and it’s heartening to see the other members of the crew wholeheartedly embracing Ocean. Here’s Tyler, The Creator, on Twitter: “My Big Brother Finally Fucking Did That. Proud Of That Nigga Cause I Know That Shit Is Difficult Or Whatever. Anyway. Im A Toilet.” Vaguely weird to say, since I don’t actually know any of these guys personally, but I’m proud of everyone involved.