Frank Ocean’s courage was all the rave on social media as folks were celebrating their 4th of July with booze and barbeque. In light of a few headlines speculating about Frank’s sexuality, he decided to put the rumors to rest by releasing a “thank you’s” letter on his Tumblr that he’d originally intended to include in his upcoming album Channel Orange. In the letter he didn’t officially “come out” as gay or bi-sexual, but he admitted that his first love was a man. Like us, a legion of fans, celebrities included, were overjoyed with his transparency and bravery. Most of all, we were happy he finally could write the words: “I feel like a free man.”
Although the outpouring of support has reached far and wide, the looming question remains: what does it all mean, especially for his budding career? If American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert is any indication, Frank’s career will continue to skyrocket. Lambert is the first openly gay artist to top the charts at No. 1. But as co-author of Decoded, dream hampton eloquently pointed out in her “Thank You, Frank Ocean” letter on Jay-Z’s Life and Times (which Jay posted to show his support) being a young black male makes a world of difference.
LA Times writer Gerrick D. Kennedy writes, “The reaction to Ocean’s revelation is still uncertain –- although any negativity can be drowned out by the album’s raw beauty and masterful craftsmanship. The outpouring of tweets supporting Ocean has made it clear that he’s going to get a fair amount of love from fans and the industry, with some already touting him as a hero and a trailblazer. Being someone of his stature will place a heavy burden on his shoulders as being the ‘first,’ but this moment was so very necessary.” We couldn’t agree more. From the comments on blogs to celebrities’ support to Russell Simmons–one of hip-hop’s biggest influencers–open letter to most of all, Frank’s music that speaks to so many, we think his music will continue to speak for itself. And we hope this means that more people become liberated, free to be who they are.
[Photo: Getty Images]