Frank Ocean Didn't See Coming Out as Risky for His Career
By Jerry Portwood
We wondered aloud if Frank Ocean had indeed come out, or if he was just openly admitting that his first love was a man when we first read and analyzed the blogstorm around his initial revelation via Tumblr. This weekend, the Guardian published an interview with R&B artist Frank Ocean who, as they correctly point out is the "most talked-about man in music, though he hasn't yet done much of the talking himself." In the exclusive interview, Ocean addressed the need for gay role models: “I suppose a percentage of that act was because of altruism; because I was thinking of how I wished at 13 or 14 there was somebody I looked up to who would have said something like that, who would have been transparent in that way. But there's another side of it that's just about my own sanity and my ability to feel like I'm living a life where I'm not just successful on paper, but sure that I'm happy when I wake up in the morning, and not with this freakin' boulder on my chest.”
“Sure, evil exists, extremism exists,” he says. “Somebody could commit a hate crime and hurt me. But they could do the same just because I’m black. They could do the same just because I’m American.”
Ocean gave a very candid interview and explained his motivations, which sound very sincere. As he explained: "It was important for me to know that when I go out on the road and I do these things, that I'm looking at people who are applauding because of an appreciation for me," he said to the Guardian. "I don't have many secrets, so if you know that, and you're still applauding … it may be some sort of sick validation but it was important to me. When I heard people talking about certain, you know, 'pronouns' in the writing of the record, I just wanted to – like I said on the post – offer some clarity; clarify, before the fire got too wild and the conversation became too unfocused and murky."
But, as so many have pointed out, it all comes back to the music. And he also takes that very seriously. "I've always wanted to make a career in the arts, and I think that my only hope at doing that is to make it more about the work."