Frank Ocean talks about his sexuality in an open letter

Frank Ocean has been one of my favorite artists. Since I discovered him I’m been stuck on his deep lyrics and smooth voice. Leading up to his much anticipated album “Chanel Orange”, Ocean has now made a confession in an open letter on his tumblr page. He wrote this letter, about the first time he fell in love with a man, because there was some speculation about his sexuality leading up to his album release.

He said that the letter was planned for the Thank You section of his album, but due to speculation he needed to “clarify” things.

It’s a powerful note and a lot of props need to be given to Frank. We see people wait forever and struggle with talking about their sexuality, and even though he talks about that he has come out.

It also makes you think about some of the songs he’s written in the past. In particular, “Swim Good”, in which he sings on the chorus “I’m about to drive in the Ocean, I’m about to swim from something bigger than me”. In the past I thought this was about his bad relationships in the past, but now he could be “swimming” from his sexuality as a whole. Anyway, here’s the entire letter that was posted on his tumblr page last night. One more thing though, regarding his album Chanel Orange.

“Orange reminds me of the summer I first fell in love” -Frank Ocean

Whoever you are, where ever you are, I’m starting to think we’re a lot alike. Human beings spinning on blackness. All wanting to be seen, touched, heard, paid attention to. My loved ones are everything to me here. In the last year or three, I’ve screamed at my creator, screamed at clouds in the sky for some explanation. Mercy maybe. For peace of mind to rain like Manna somehow.

Four summers ago, I met somebody. I was 19 years old; he was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost. And on the days we were together, time would glide. Most of the day I’d see him and his smile. I’d hear his conversation and his silence until it was time to sleep. Sleep I would often share with him. By the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless. It was no escaping, no negotiating with the feelings. No choice. It was my first love. It changed my life.

Back then, my mind would wander to the women I had been with, the ones I cared for and thought I was in love with. I reminisced about the sentimental songs I enjoyed when I was a teenager. The ones I played when I experienced a girlfriend for the first time. I realized they were written in a language I did not yet speak. I realized too much too quickly. Imagine being thrown from a plane. I wasn’t in a plane though. I was in a Nissan Maxima, the same car I packed up with bags and drove to Los Angeles in.

I sat there and told my friend how I felt. I wept as the words left my mouth. I grieved for them, knowing I could never take them back for myself. He patted my back. He said kind things. He did his best. But he wouldn’t admit the same.

He had to go back inside soon. It was late and his girlfriend was waiting for him upstairs. He wouldn’t tell me the truth about his feelings for me for another three years. I felt like I only imagined reciprocity for years. Now imagine being thrown from a cliff. No, I wasn’t on a cliff. I was still in my car telling myself it was gonna be fine and to take deep breaths. I took the breaths and carried on. I kept up a peculiar friendship with him because I couldn’t imagine keeping up my life without him. I struggled to master myself and my emotions. I wasn’t always successful.

The dance went on…I kept the rhythm for several summers after. It’s winter now. I’m typing this on a plane back to Los Angeles from New Orleans. I flew home for another marred Christmas. I have a window seat. It’s December 27th, 2011. By now I’ve written two albums. This being the second. I wrote to keep myself busy and sane. I wanted to created worlds that were rosier than mine. I tried to channel overwhelming emotions. I’m surprised at how far all of it has taken me.

Before writing this, I told some people my story. I’m sure these people kept me alive, kept me safe…sincerely, these are the folks I want to thank from the floor of my heart. Everyone of you knows who you are….

Great humans, probably angels. I don’t know what happens now, and that’s alright.

I don’t have any secrets I need kept anymore. There’s probably some small shit still, but you know what I mean. I was never alone, as much as I felt like it. As much as I still do sometimes. I never was. I don’t think I ever could be. 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. Some things never are…and we were. I won’t forget you. I won’t forget the summer. I’ll remember who I was when I met you. I’ll remember who you were and how we’ve both changed and stayed the same. I’ve never had more respect for life and living than I have right now.

Maybe it takes a near death experience to feel alive. Thanks.

To my mother, you raised me strong. I know I’m only brave because you were first, so thank you! All of you, for everything good. I feel like a free man. If I listen closely, I can hear the sky falling too.


One Response to Frank Ocean talks about his sexuality in an open letter

  1. SoulfulMoaning says:

    I feel like Frank experienced something beyond us, beyond the basic human mind, it can not be grasped in basic conversation, can not be grasped with basic thoughts or conclusions. At first I thought Franks letter to be poetry, written no in 1st person, but in a personification form. As I read over it for the 3rd time I see that is a letter written on impulse, passion, self examination, pride..the finale of a “battle.” I feel like Frank isn’t gay, me saying that would have to be perceived through an open and reaching mind. Frank fell in love with a man, he loved deeply, experienced true love for the 1st time and that 1st time of falling in the ocean of love was with a man; not shared. I say not shared because it seems as though his feelings were a bit isolated, his feeling were alone. I believe the man who he also notes as a friend was beyond just a friend, he was a good friend, a best friend, maybe something like what they call “bro-mance.” In any event, i draw the conclusion that Frank saw how good of a person this guy was, was blown away by it, enamored; Frank seems to have an open and gentle heart, an open mind, free to receive, free to give without limitation. The essence of those qualities can become foggy, hazed, complex and even confusing. I feel like Frank has a story to tell, a story beyond what people think or want to hear, his story is far from basic. So I say this, within his heart, Frank is not gay, open, yes, loving, yes, accepting, yes…but gay, I say not, his traditional statements within his letter lead himself as well as other to propose his sexuality as a gay man. Frank loved a man, but not in a sexual sense, not in a gay sense, but the validity of it all has the ability to travel to one place, one concept, one measure, one assumption: gay. This is all just my perspective on Franks letter, a letter of which I find to be profound in its own right. It’s beauty in it’s own way, regardless, gay or straight I will say that I love Franks music. His artistry is refreshing, original and soulful…quiet in a sense. He is an great music artist and a great person from what I cant tell through his songs and interviews, his mind is not average by a long shot. I don’t agree with homo-sexuality, but that doesn’t mean I have a vengeance or hate or un-acceptance in my heart to give. If i sound like a contradiction, oh well, I am not politically correct or idealistic…just real thoughts, just like franks letter. Peace.

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