Hip-Hop Singer Frank Ocean Of Odd Future Comes Out About Gay Relationship

Hip-hop/R&B singer Frank Ocean has revealed his first experience with love was a “hopeless”same-sex relationship he had with another man.

On Tuesday the “Novacane” singer blogged, “What I’m about to post is for anyone who cares to read. It was intended to fill the thank yous section in my album credits [for Channel Orange], but with all the rumors going round, I figured it’d be good to clarify.”

Ocean, 24, then went on to explain that four years ago, he met “somebody”:

I was 19 years old. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Every day almost, and on the day we were together, time would glide. Most of the day I’d see him, and his smile. By the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless.”

In the message, apparently first written in December 2011, Ocean indicated the other man was already spoken for. But the singer says says being open about his past has allowed him “to feel like a free man.”

Born Christopher Breaux, Ocean started out as a songwriter for stars like  Justin Bieber and John Legend before joning Tyler, the Creator’s alternative hip-hop collective, Odd Future. He’s garnered acclaim for his mixtapes, and singles like “Novacane” and “Swim Good,” and recently appeared on Kanye West and Jay-Z’s Watch the Throne.

Rumors about Ocean’s orientation started in earnest after some of the ballads on his upcoming album, Channel Orange, made reference to “he,” instead of the expected “she.” Music mogul Russell Simmons immediately took to Global Grind to share his support:

“Today is a big day for hip-hop. It is a day that will define who we really are.  How compassionate will we be? How loving can we be? How inclusive are we?

I am 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. These types of secrets should not matter anymore, but we know they do, and because of that I decided to write this short statement of support for one of the greatest new artists we have.

His gifts are undeniable.  His talent, enormous.  His bravery, incredible.  His actions this morning will uplift our consciousness and allow us to become better people.  Every single one of us is born with peace and tranquility in our heart.  Frank just found his.

Frank, we thank you.  We support you.  We love you.



Channel Orange hits stores on July 17.

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  • Wordsmith

    In a perfect world, this would matter not.

    But on this fourth of July, as we strive towards a more perfect union, we are reminded of how far we have come and how far, Ocean’s sexuality being news, we have yet to travel.

  • Analog

    Huge news.
    I can’t think of a coming out that was more open and honest than this.
    It’s beautifully written.
    I’ll be buying his album, but certainly not out of loyalty…

  • Codswallop

    I’d never heard of him until yesterday, but congratulations to him for coming out as a musician in a genre often accused of homophobia. I like what I’ve heard of his music but the auto-tuning on his voice keeps me from really enjoying it as R&B, though. I assume he can sing, that it’s more of a special effect since it’s so obvious, but for me that robotic sound creates a distance between the singer and what he’s singing about.

  • Adam

    So brave, so proud, he got a lot of fans today. Much more dedicated and probably fans that will actually support him (Fiscally)

    Excited to see what he releases on “Channel Orange”

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    SO was the relationship 4 years ago a one time thing, or is he actually gay today?

  • Summer Night

    Bisexual yeah right… He will soon be in a relationship with a woman and will not talk about men ever again, mark my word.

  • Belize

    @Summer Night: In your heyday, that would’ve been the case, grandma.

  • Belize

    Considering how homophobic the lyrics of Tyler the Creator (and essentially, Odd Future) are, this is quite surprising.

  • Belize

    @Wordsmith: “Ocean’s sexuality being news, we have yet to travel.”

    I would understand as to why you wouldn’t consider this news. But to those who have known OFWGKTA and its homophobe-in-denial of a leader, Tyler, it is quite surprising.

  • LadyL

    I really want to throw this young man some love and support, but I’m a little troubled by the descriptions he uses regarding the love he felt–“malignant”? “Hopeless”? Is embracing himself as gay or denouncing that orientation? I keep re-reading his words, trying to understand what he’s really telling us. Maybe this is the closest he can come to coming out. I hope he knows he’s okay as he is and that he will be supported by an industry not exactly known for its LGBT inclusiveness. Good on Russell Simmons for his shout-out.

  • Making up stuff is fun!

    @LadyL: He meant malignant in a good way; paradoxical, but that’s why he gets paid the big bucks to write lyrics.

  • Bipolar Bear

    Ditto to the commenters above about Odd Future – I was clicking into this thinking that maybe here’s someone who potentially will be able to stand up or counter that kind of bullshit homophobia in hip-hop, but if he’s a former collaborator, how much of that has he actually been responsible for?


  • Roxorz

    This would be more exciting if he didn’t have an album coming out in 2 weeks. Not to say that this is a PR move but … it’s pretty good PR. Most people who will hear about his story weren’t familiar with his music prior. I guess we’ll see if it hurts or helps

  • Mr. Z

    @Roxorz: Yeah, and these comments would be less asinine if morons like you knew what the hell you were talking about. Ocean wrote for the upcoming album some love songs that talk about a “he” rather than a “she.” A few critics noticed that, and began speculating that Ocean might be gay. Today, Ocean is simply setting the record straight.

    Or do you think he should’ve changed every instance of “he” to “she” so that cynics like you wouldn’t think his coming out was some sort of weird PR ploy?

    PS: Don’t know if you noticed, but I think you’re an asshole.

  • Summer Night

    @Belize: Oh please, give me a break. Do you know that much bisexuals in relationships with someone of the same gender? They’re almost nonexistent, 99% of them are in straight relationships, he will not be an exception. As i say, mark my word.

  • Aquarelle

    Um … awesome? Seriously, we need a *cute* rapper to come out. Who cares about uggos like this?

  • Colin

    @Aquarelle: Unbelievable.

  • MikeB

    @Aquarelle: Wow, you’e knocking Frank Ocean coming out because he doesn’t fit your idea of what attractive is? If you were any deeper you might be a puddle.

    He’s probably the largest black male musician to come out in a decade? More? That’s brave and it’s making it easier for others to come out in the future.

  • Colin

    @Summer Night: We will have to wait and see what develops. Everyone knows how homophobic and hostile the black community is, especially in the hip-hop/rap scene. Cut him some slack for at least being open about his same-sex relationship and the love he had. That is a huge step.

  • roxorz

    @Mr. Z: It is sad that you would waste your insults and judgements on a random online poster just making a comment. It always amazes me how instead of just educating me about Ocean and his past lyrics, you proceed to name-call.

    My only point was as a “top 40” kind of music listener I was unaware of Frank Ocean. Now today I have seen headlines on most of my favorite sites about the man and his upcoming album.—Good luck to him!

  • Tallent

    @Colin: We all know how homophobic and hostile EVERY community is. Let’s try and avoid making this a black white issue. Country fans will lynch a gay person just as readily as hip hop fans might. A brave young man has just come out to the world and he’s one heck of an artist! Let’s support him! Also my understanding was that he came out as gay, not bisexual.

  • UsualPlayers

    @Tallent: Because when its someone White saying something homophobic, Colin doesn’t see race. He only sees it with Black people. Ironically, one of the reasons that Blacks were first chosen as slaves was that it was easier for people to know who were the slaves. So that historical mind set continues on to this day

    Its one of the issue with race in America. Whites see what they do in terms of individual action but what people of color do in terms of representing all black people everywhere.

    Colin like many just notices people of color more when they do or say the exact same thing as everyone else does or say.

    No one says of the leadership of NOM- well they are White and unfortunately we just have to see the reaction of White Christians. Yet, they without a second thought promote the double standard about race. Its racialized because its always racialized whether people discuss it or not in this society

    You are never going to convince someone like Colin that there’s a bias there in noticing race. I have had these conversations repeatedly with people who voice the double standard who deny they are even making a double standard. Its not that they aren’t smart or educated.

    Many are. It is that they are conditioned to see race with Blacks but not with Whites.

    What’s interesting here is that he assumes the fan base is Black when in fact hip hop’s largest audience is White. But again he’s condition to see Black not White.

  • UsualPlayers

    By the way I think he came out as gay but it doesnt really matter

    The truth is it takes courage either way

    No one is going to think “oh he’s not queer because he’s only bi”

  • Colin

    @Tallent: I don’t think it’s as present in “every community” to the degree that it is and always has been among blacks, so I stand by my comment.

  • Colin

    @UsualPlayers: Yes, yes, of course. That’s it. Thank you for opening my eyes.

  • UsualPlayers

    @Colin: I am not tryin to open your eyes. I am trying to explain why people like you exist. Your narcissism only underscores the point that for you- you are unique and to be convinced- rather than understood as what you are. In other words, I addressed my post to Tallent rather than you for a reason. I don’t think someone like you is reachable. Most Americns on race, black or white, aren’t Too many years of baggage that makes a real conversation impossible because you deny the baggage that would even cause you to go there. So I sure as hell was not trying to convince you of anything. go on your merry way being completely oblivious about why you thinkt he way you do is how I see it at this point with folks like you

  • Tallent

    @UsualPlayers: well said! I’m so excited to hear these songs with “he” pronouns!

  • Mike

    Who is this guy?

    Summer night-STFU you don’t know sh!t about bisexuality or bisexuals. Not all bisexuals are in opposite gender relationships and many of us are in same gender relationships and are out.

  • Paulo

    Usual Players-Even if he was bisexual he’d still be queer.

    WTF is up with all the biphobia and hypocritical biphobes on this site?

  • Analog

    It’s funny how many sites differ on how they report this.
    Some are saying he’s gay, some bisexual, some just refer to him ‘coming out’.
    There’s no ambiguity in what he actually says, though.
    He writes very beautifully about gay love – he’s very clear on that point; that what he’s describing is Love.
    The direct honesty and openness of his tumblr post is very striking, for that reason.
    It’s one level of courage to say “I’m gay/bisexual”.
    He could have just said “I had a relationship with a man three years ago. So what?”
    But this is altogether different, I think.
    There seems to have been a lot of pondering over the recent coming out of Matt Bomer and Anderson Cooper and how this avalanche of two gay celebrities coming out with little fanfare apparently constitutes a new era of The Quiet Coming Out.
    But Frank Ocean’s coming out seems like far more of a new thing to me.
    To be that emotionally open about his experience is incredibly brave, regardless of skin color or the genre of music he works in.
    A good day for us all, I think. :)

  • Colin

    @Analog: Well said.

  • jeff4justice

    Once again Russell Simmons proves what an awesome guy he is.

  • LadyL

    @Making up stuff is fun!: Really? Ah, then. You young people and your hip-speak! ;-)

  • jaded


    Where have YOU been? Queerty has always been biphobic and bi hating and so has a lot of this message board.

  • plazaboy

    Kudos to this man coming out at the beginning of his career. He’s unashamed of his past relationship and who cares wether he is gay or bi, i think it’s commendable to be coming out with such a “scandalous” thing in the world of hip-hop that is so anti-gay.

    At least he didn’t wait quite a few years like other people we’ve been talking about this week when it won’t really damage their careers. Frank Ocean has more balls than AC, that’s for sure.

  • Rockery

    This is actually more meaningful than Anderson coming out, an out rapper? Wow! I have no idea who he is but it’s good news nonetheless

  • Aquarelle

    @Colin: @MikeB: I’m just saying what you’re thinking: You know you Googled this guy when you read this story and were disappointed that he wasn’t cuter. He’s an uggo, so all I have to say is … NEXT!

  • Colin

    @Aquarelle: No, I didn’t do that and felt no need to. I also don’t think he’s ugly. So, don’t try to put your shit on me.

  • hamoboy

    @Aquarelle: STFU! You’re like a bad gay stereotype. Grow up and stop being so shallow and stupid.

  • Aquarelle

    @hamoboy: Honey there ain’t no straights in here, you don’t gotta front. I’m not a “gay stereotype,” I’m exactly like you. You looked at this boy and you thought: “Damn. An uggo. Bummer.” Yeah, I’ll rally around this dog-faced “person”, cuz he’s good for the cause, but between us girls (and you know you feel the same): Ugh!

  • hamoboy

    @Aquarelle: Actually, I like the Jay-Z&Kanye song “No church in the wild”, which has this guy singing the chorus. I thought he was one of those “good people” in RnB, the ones with talent and integrity who never make it big, or at least not for long. I’m proud of him for this, and hopefully the extra publicity generated will propel him to even better sales and more visibility.
    I don’t judge people’s entire worth on the basis of their looks. He isn’t ugly, just not stunningly handsome. That’s cool, he’s got more than enough talent to make up for it. LGBTs of all types should come out, whether they’re pretty as a picture, or homely like a fridge door.

  • Paul

    “I’m not a “gay stereotype,”” HAHAHAHA…right. Absolutely the worst piece of stereotype scum fuck around.

    “I’m exactly like you. You looked at this boy and you thought: “Damn. An uggo. Bummer.” Yeah, I’ll rally around this dog-faced “person”, cuz he’s good for the cause, but between us girls (and you know you feel the same): Ugh!”

    I’ll take Mr. Ocean’s inner and outer beauty any day over a hateful, ugly, bitter, HORRIBLE HORRIBLE person as yourself. You are a completely terrible human being.


    Some of these comments make me HATE QUEERTY. So over it!!!

  • Aquarelle

    @Paul: @hamoboy: OK, so, not to stereotype or anything b/c I hate rcists and such, but … are you two black by any chance?

  • hamoboy

    @Aquarelle: Wow. I believe you’ve outdone yourself. From shallow bitchiness into racism in three comments.


    Good for Mr.Ocean. I was a bit suprised when I read it on R2.0.
    @hamoboy: You seemed shocked that @Aquarelle: is a dumb bitch I saw that bullshit coming from its first post.

  • shannon


  • MJ (different from the other one)

    @Aquarelle: you’ve never listened to his music obviously. regardless you opinion is rejected. #SITDOWN

  • MJ (different from the other one)

    If any of you haven’t heard of him. go on youtube and listen to some of his work. you won’t be disappointed.

  • MJ (different from the other one)

    @Aquarelle: who sounds more like a dumbass. the person who is judging someone based on their looks and practically calling them worthless, when they probably haven’t given him a single listen whatsoever or someone who just told them that they can take that judgement and shove it up their ass. I’m not attracted to Frank Ocean. I’m not attracted to Black men despite being Black myself, but I’m not gonna say something so stupid as “we need cuter people to come out, He is UGGO”. I can tell you’ve never payed any attention beyond his looks. I doubt you even know what his songs are about. I doubt you have any intelligence at all beyond knowing how to type on a damn keyboard. I feel sorry for you because you might not even be that much of a looker yourself or someone probably hurt your feelings by assessing your self worth based on your appearance. but I do not feel sorry enough to not tell you when you are just plain ignorant.

    P.S. it’s You’re, not UR. that is all :)

  • Aquarelle

    @MJ (different from the other one):

    “I’m not attracted to Black men despite being Black myself.”

    Ouch. You’re a self-hating black man? That’s really kind of terrible. I understand how, having such deep-seated issues to deal with, you might be overly sensitive to what I wrote (self-hating types tend to over-compensate).

    All I can say is: Deal with your own inability to see the beauty in black men (I know that I sure as hell am attracted to plenty of black men); maybe *then* you can lecture people on judging people on their looks.

    After all, you’re the one who won’t date someone if he’s black.

  • MJ (different from the other one)

    @Aquarelle: no sweetie you completely misunderstand. when I say I am not attracted to black men, I say it as this: there are plenty of Black hotties out there. I wouldn’t hesitate to tell a guy that he’s hot or decent at the least if he asked. but I’d still tell him despite that , he s not my type. judging by your comments though, you would be or have already been completely stuck up and have acted like a cunt. don’t twist this on me. you’re the one who has some issues

  • Colin

    @MJ (different from the other one): I find it ironic that so many black queens and other minorities come here and criticize white guys about not wanting to date them or finding them attractive. They also get pissed at Queerty any time a white guy or a collection of white guys is featured. And yet so many of them don’t even want to date others that look like them. That is sad and hypocritical and some of you need to take a good, long look at yourselves.

  • Lance

    Colin, it’s because black trolls like Sharon think that they have an excuse to be rac ist! ;)

  • jack

    I’m happy for you Frank and I hope that you have a happy life. However in my opinion most hip hop music like rap is trash. Its like graffiti. It is not an art form but an assault on good taste.

  • UsualPlayers

    @Tallent: I’ve listened to his music. It reminds me of neosoul music. Its okay but I am not sure its my cup of tea. Still I want to find someway to support his talent because I recognize he’s very good.

  • UsualPlayers

    @Paulo: I am confused. I said the same thing as you did unless I made a typo.

  • UsualPlayers

    @Colin: Actually no one cricitize you for being White, what they said to you and other douche bags is that you constantly inject race where there is no racial context

    All one has to do is to see that you post above on race in your comment to realize why you and others are full of shit.

    I know “LOL”

    just underscores the narcissism and the immaturity. Now you represent all white gays.

    Ironically I just game from a party of mostly white gay men.

    None of them were like you

    And I dont judge them based on you

  • Making up stuff is fun!


    “l I want to find someway to support his talent because I recognize he’s very good.”

    Just buy his damn album on iTunes when it’s available. It’s not that complicated.

  • UsualPlayers

    Anyone mentioning grafitti and a “controversey” over whether its art must be at least in their 50s

  • UsualPlayers

    @Making up stuff is fun!: Yeah it is because its not my taste in music

    I tend to like hard rock and country and old school hip hop and neosoul rather than the new neosoul

    Do you buy stuff thats not your taste just to make a political point because someone is good? I feel like thats the wrong reason to buy music

  • hamoboy

    @UsualPlayers: Actually, yes. “The personal is political”,as the 2ndwave feminist adage goes. Someone with the integrity and courage to come out BEFORE their career switches into high gear (unlike, say for instance, Ricky Martin and Lance Bass) should be rewarded for it.
    It’s just $10 on iTunes. At the very least blog about it and tell your friends about it in case they take a liking to his music. I find myself willing to listen longer to LGBT musicians to find something I like in their music, and I’ll pay to watch them live even if I’m sort of “meh” about them (Adam Lambert is a prime example).

  • Colin

    @UsualPlayers: I like that you basically keep talking to yourself. LOL.

  • Colin

    @Lance: I don’t know who Sharon is but if you say he/she is a black troll then I’m willing to believe it, based on what I’ve seen on this thread. Too many keyboard gay Al Sharptons here with an agenda.

  • UsualPlayers

    @Colin: You realize that if you are replying that means the statement “I like that you basically keep talking to yourself” is by definition false even forgetting the fact that the guy I was already talking to responded? No of course not. Anyone who repeatedly keeps trying different tactics to deflect from his own bigotry is obviously not going to get how his own actions defeats his claims.

  • UsualPlayers

    @hamoboy: I will consider it.

  • UsualPlayers

    @Colin: By the way, I also like that you aren’t that smart. Its makes it easier to demonstrate how you could not realize you are applying a double standard about race. With smart people, that can be harder to demonstrate. Keep up the good work!

  • Aiden

    @Aiden: *Actually* and *support*

  • Colin

    @UsualPlayers: @UsualPlayers: Well, the only way to respond to these comments is with a good ole “Bitch, please.” LOL. You need counseling, hon. I can’t help you.

    @Aiden: There can be polls to prove anything, really. Your post doesn’t tell me anything.

  • hamoboy

    @Colin: Too many “gay Al Sharptons”? Well you’re a gay Lee Atwater. You just want to bleat your racism in every thread (applicable or not) and you don’t want to listen to any facts telling you you’re wrong. You know what that sounds like? A bigot, that’s what.

  • Colin

    @hamoboy: LMAO. This is getting good. You’re trying to get your tired lines in because you need some attention, like U-P. That’s cute.

  • Analog

    Here’s a good piece from the UK:


    While there have been examples of continued homophobia across the web in response, the prevailing reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, hailing Ocean’s decision as a landmark for black music, making him “the first star of the hip-hop generation to come out of the closet”.

    As well as these implications, the public response to the letter symbolises to me the sense that there is a growing need for genuine truth in today’s world, particularly where so much is constructed by the media.

    That rather than being perceived as weak or something to be afraid of, exhibiting vulnerability and uncensored candidness, particularly for a man, is something that takes incredible courage and strength.

    And it’s this unapologetic authenticity that really connects I think, because it’s coming from the heart. It’s not aimed at the part of you that aspires to be something you’re not, and thinks you should be.

    So as well as undoubtedly serving as a hugely significant socio-political statement, I think on a human level, that is what makes Frank Ocean’s letter a particularly powerful and humble gesture of unity: its honesty.

  • MJ (different from the other one)

    @Colin: I’m not even attracted to white guys either. what most of you don’t realize is that I’ve dated and been with both before. I know my feelings were never there. whenever I sleep, I know who is on my mind.Strike two. care to go again? when most people jump about it being a race issue, it’s mainly because some of you would speak as if Black people or anyone from another race is ugly. some are downright worse, trolling maybe, to say that they’re not attractive based on the simple fact of them being black, asian, latino, etc. that’s racism. self-hate would be to place a dislike with dating your own race because you don’t think them as attractive. which colin, if you read my earlier post to that “person” you would see that is not the case. my main point was that, in regards to that person was there is not need to be shallow in such a way, and although I shouldn’t have brought it up, he tried to turn it around and make it seem like I didn’t like him or all blacks and couldn’t see beauty in them. that was horrible what he said (from when he started posting about him). Frank is an attractive guy, but not who I’m attracted to. and it was his music that I liked first. if you don’t like him based simply off of his looks, you’re wrong

  • Cam

    Somebody coming out at the beginning of their career, and in RAP?

    Good for him!

  • Aiden

    @Colin: SO basically no amount of proof can convince that you aren’t right. Why consider facts when you can be racist, I guess………..

  • UsualPlayers


    Again thanks. Many bigots try to hide what they are, but you are pretty clear about the fact you are a racist. I await you calling me “coon” and some other name that you think will offend. The “Al Sharpton” line pretty much underscores the part of society you are coming from. Pretty much don’t know any White guy who would use Al Sharpton other than a right wing troll so keep using language. Anyway, thanks! As I said earlier, you make the job of pointing out that you aren’t just accidently bringing up race as you do much easier to illustrate.


    from his song, We all try:

    “…I believe that marriage isn’t
    Between a man and woman but between love and love…”

    wow! i’m just listening to his stuff and this guys the real deal.

    at last.
    to the idiots dissing his looks…are you blind? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65amv0E_sgI
    well, anyway, *i’m* smitten — thoughtful, articulate, and THAT smile; what’s not to love!

  • stevoj

    @Belize: you took the words right out of my mouth. now i’m confused as to why he is signed with them… i still appreciate his honesty and his music though

    frank is a good guy in my book

  • Colin

    @MJ (different from the other one): Let me apologize. I wasn’t really talking about you in my post or trying to attack you. I just used your post to discuss some of the things I noticed on Queerty from minority gays.

  • Aquarelle

    @Colin: I completely agree with Colin on his views about minority gays on Queerty. Thank God there’s finally someone on this board who’s on the same wavelength as me!

  • Matt

    Aquarelle that’s because you and Colin are the same person! ;) You’re sock puppets of each other but Colin posts under other names too like making stuff up is fun and R.A.

    I’m glad that this guy came out as bisexual or gay and that he’s writing songs from a bisexual or gay male perspective since apparently there are A LOT of closeted people in the hip hop music biz *COUGH* Kanye *COUGH*

  • Colin

    @Aquarelle: Thank you.

  • James

    @Colin: I’m black and gay but I totally agree with you about the angry self hating snow queens that don’t date blame men but get made when white guys won’t date them it’s crazy.

  • RLS

    First of all, how on earth did a coming out story become a discussion about race? Second of all, can we ever discuss race in this community in a way that doesn’t involve who does or doesn’t date black men? It’s so tired.

  • Oh well

    How is it possible that the New York Times Sunday edition today printed a full-page article on Frank Ocean without mentioning anything about this? It feels as if we are back in the 70s.

  • UsualPlayers

    @Oh well: Gee, could it be because the article was written *before* Frank came out? It’s actually been up on the online version of the Times since before the story broke.

    Not everything’s a conspiracy.

  • Mimi

    @Aquarelle: GAH! Stop calling my boyfriend ugly!

  • ScaryRussianHeather


    Because that’s how contributors account for the fact that Adam Lambert was openly gay since high school – for 10 years including at the beginning of his career but still faces hateful comments and lack of support from some community members. And various ways to insist he “hid it” on Idol even though solo interviews were not permitted. He’s black, see. So it was “harder” to do.

    Some supporters elsewhere stipulate he’s ~special because he’s “not campy”. That’s today’s euphemism for not effeminate.

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