Frank Ocean on his coming-out letter: 'I hadn't been happy in so long'

Posted By KATE STANTON,  |  Nov. 20, 2012 at 3:18 PM
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Frank Ocean, R&B singer and Odd Future member, made hip-hop history last July after posting a letter to his Tumblr page describing the deep feelings he had for another man, his "first love." The 25-year-old received an outpouring of public support from his peers after the post -- both Russell Simmons and Tyler the Creator praised his courage -- an exceptional moment for an industry that had yet to count a major openly gay artist. In an interview with GQ, Ocean spoke to his motivation for writing the letter that made headlines.

"I was just like, "F*** it. Talk about it, don't talk about it—talk about this." No more mystery. Through with that," Ocean said.

The singer also talked about how he felt after writing the letter:

The night I posted it, I cried like a f***ing baby. It was like all the frequency just clicked to a change in my head. All the receptors were now receiving a different signal, and I was happy. I hadn't been happy in so long. I've been sad again since, but it's a totally different take on sad. There's just some magic in truth and honesty and openness.

Whatever I said in that letter, before I posted it, seemed so huge. But when you come out the other side, now your brain—instead of receiving fear—sees "Oh, s*** happened and nothing happened." Brain says, "Self, I'm fine." I look around, and I'm touching my f***ing limbs, and I'm good. Before anybody called me and said congratulations or anything nice, it had already changed. It wasn't from outside. It was completely in here, in my head.

And on how he felt it his industry might respond:

I had those fears. In black music, we've got so many leaps and bounds to make with acceptance and tolerance in regard to that issue. It reflects something just ingrained, you know. When I was growing up, there was nobody in my family—not even my mother—who I could look to and be like, "I know you've never said anything homophobic." So, you know, you worry about people in the business who you've heard talk that way. Some of my heroes coming up talk recklessly like that. It's tempting to give those views and words—that ignorance—more attention than they deserve. Very tempting.

Ocean, who never referred to himself as gay or bisexual in the Tumblr post, declined to answer when GQ asked him if he was bisexual: "You can move to the next question. ... As a writer, as a creator, I'm giving you my experiences. But just take what I give you. You ain't got to pry beyond that."

Read the whole interview over at GQ.

Here's the original letter:

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