Today, Odd Future member 24-year-old-Christopher Breaux, aka Frank Ocean, took the very brave step of writing a letter on his tumblr coming out as gay/bisexual, making him the first modern black RnB star to come out.
Every few years, you can feel major cultural shifts happen. Homosexuality, especially in hip-hop/R&B culture, has been a complicated issue for years. Lately, it seems to be opening up—the general consensus, or at least the perception of it, is changing. More artists are stepping forward to openly support gay rights, and the openness to differences, whatever they may be, seems to be at an all-time high.
Ocean’s band mate Tyler, The Creator, has himself in the past been accused of homophobia, but today took to his Twitter feed in solidarity with his friend, saying: “My Big Brother Finally Fucking Did That. Proud Of That Nigga Cause I Know That Shit Is Difficult Or Whatever. Anyway. I’m A Toilet.”
Addressing widespread rumours about his orientation, the singer has admitted in the post that his first love was a man.
Ocean prefaced his statement saying he hopes that “the babies born these days will inherit less of the bullshit than we did”.
He wrote: “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. Sleep I would often share with him. By the time I realised I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless. There was no escaping, no negotiating to the women I had been with, the ones I cared for and thought I was in love with”.
“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”.
“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.”
Ocean went on to explain how the process of making music had given him the strength to admit who he really is. He added, “I don’t know what happens now, and that’s alrite. I don’t have any secrets I need kept any more. 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 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.”
“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.”
Ocean’s mother, Katony Breaux Riley writing on twitter said: “Thank you all who have shown love and support. My son is the most incredible human I know. Honest, true and loving we appreciate you!”.
The post also led hip hop mogul Russell Simmons to state that he was “profoundly moved by the courage and honesty of Frank Ocean. Your decision to go public about your sexual orientation gives hope and light to so many young people still living in fear.”
Let us all hope that Frank Ocean’s courageous action will help go a long way in stamping out homophobia & misogyny in music.
The singer has unveiled a brand new song called ‘Sweet Life, taken from his first official album, ‘Channel Orange’, which is due out on July 16.
The album follows last year’s ‘Nostalgia, Ultra’ mixtape.