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Frank Ocean posts open letter about his sexuality

By | Published on Wednesday 4 July 2012

Frank Ocean

Following chatter this week that Frank Ocean would refer to the love interest in some of the songs on his upcoming debut album ‘Channel Orange’ as “him” rather than “her”, the rising R&B star and Odd Future member has posted an open letter on his Tumblr blog, seemingly penned at the end of last year, in which he opens up about his homosexuality by discussing his first romance with another guy aged nineteen.

The letter, presented as a screen grab of a TextEdit file, and possibly liner notes from ‘Channel Orange’ (or originally intended as such), says: “Four summers ago I met somebody. I was nineteen 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”.

It continues: “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 realised 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 changed my life”.

Later in the letter he observes: “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 realised they were written in a language I did not speak”.

Although written in somewhat abstract terms – leading some to speculate whether Ocean would define himself as bisexual or homosexual – the confessional note is arguably brave in a genre that has long been accused of homophobia (indeed such accusations have been made against some of Ocean’s Odd Future collaborators), and where it’s widely assumed gay artists hide their sexuality for fear of a backlash from fans.

You can read the open letter here