Frank Ocean Says His First Love Was a Man


Rumors that Frank Ocean came out as gay or bisexual on his new album, Channel Orange circulated today, and in a statement posted to his Tumblr, Ocean clarifies. He recounts falling in love with a man and says, “I don’t have any secrets I need kept anymore.” In a preface to the letter, originally meant to appear in the liner notes for Channel Orange, he said, “my hope is that the babies born these days will inherit less of the bullshit than we did.” Read Ocean’s message, first posted as a screenshot, in its entirety below.

Whoever you are. Wherever 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 3 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. 4 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. There was no escaping, no negotiating with the feeling. No choice. It was my first love. It would change 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 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 then. 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 the truth about his feelings for me for another 3 years. I felt like I’d 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 windowseat. It’s December 27, 2011. By now I’ve written two albums. This being the second. I wrote to keep myself busy and sane. I wanted to create worlds that were rosier than mine. I tried to channel overwhelming emotions. I’m surprise at how far all of it has taken me. Before writing this I’d told some people my story. I’m sure these people kept me alive, kept me safe. Sincerely, these are the folks I wanna 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 alrite. 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 it 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 thought it wasn’t what I hoped for and even thought 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.

- Frank

In his own way, Odd Future’s Tyler, the Creator congratulated Ocean for opening up:

POSTED July 4, 2012 3:21AM IN MUSIC NEWS Comments (21) TAGS: , ,




  1. Pingback: “I feel like a free man”: Frank Ocean discusses his sexuality – FACT magazine: music and art

  2. tara says:

    This is copied wrong its not the same as the original

  3. tara says:

    This is copied wrong its not the same as the original

  4. Pingback: Frank Ocean: “I feel like a free man. If I listen closely I can hear the sky …

  5. philani says:

    Frank ocean mybe guy or what’s so ever-but like adele is fat, she still make good with ocean being gay I see no big deal-the dude still does good music 4 the heart,mind body an soul- plain words from a straight guy down south africa_ @saint3diago

  6. GEO says:

    Good for him. I am a fan and will be supporting his next album.

  7. mochalola says:

    Wow dats crazy. Hope he isn’t though because I do have a lil crush on him. But I wonder if tyler the creator is gay too? Everyone in hollywood need to come out because they all downlow. Like miguel and lil wayne and tyler perry and ne-yo

  8. Pingback: » (Gallery) Frank Ocean Comes Out The Rebel Society | Where Creativity Reigns Supreme

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  10. Pingback: Frank Ocean discusses his sexuality in a revealing open letter on his Tumblr | Pop Hunter

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  12. mutt says:

    I have gay friends who, when they came out, all implied they were bisexual, then eventually gay. I assume Ocean is taking the same route. Also, how articulate Tyler is…..typical macho straight dude. Ha ha…I’m not gay, by the way, but I strongly support gay rights.

  13. Ross says:

    Now Wayne needs to come out. It’d be smart as hell if Frank did this to make other artist have confidence to come out, then say he only did that to get the truth from people.

  14. @_TheRuler says:

    shit Frank Ocean kind of looks like me. When is the album coming out?

  15. michael says:

    and in other news, tyler the creator is a toilet.

  16. Pharren says:

    this is the first time I’ve seen people comment a fader post, shows how much people truly love Frank and how real he is, but i do kinda think he is really gay not bi but idk i am a straight female and i had a friend who i thought was straight who then confessed her feelings to me i denied them but she still goes out with guys and we are still friends so… he very well could be bi ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I just have a feeling he is gay although before this info he never gave off that vibe to me weird because Ne-yo and Miguel definitely give me that vibe. but anyways not my business and it wouldn’t matter anyways hes a musical genius regardless.
    I literally cant wait for this CD I hope goes platinum and he wins Grammy’s cause he deserves it… Got Damn hes cute….

  17. Ciani says:

    @michael lol finally tyler admits he’s a toilet i new it from the beginning…

  18. shhreee says:

    bi or gay.. does it matter to you? Then I can provide an answer.. I think he meant that he was definitely going out with female, but the one true love, his first true love was male. So all in all he is assumed to be bisexual, since the term bisexual is biological term.

  19. Grammatically Correct Nigger says:

    A lot of people think there is no such thing as bisexual, and there is only gay and straight. This is a load of bullshit, and it’s definitely showing in the comments here, but at least you guys are supporting him.
    Anyways, it was always very apparent to me that Frank is the type of person who loves people based solely on their personalities. It was really obvious to me in his songs and interviews. He is not straight, gay or bi, he’s pansexual, which means exactly what I stated at the start of this paragraph.
    Best wishes to you, Frank, and we’re all very proud of you for starting the breaking of the gay-straight-bi barrier of hip-hop and r&b. Hopefully more people will follow in your footsteps.

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