OKP News: Frank Ocean x GQ On Coming Out, Odd Future & More - Okayplayer

OKP News: Frank Ocean x GQ On Coming Out, Odd Future & More

Frank Ocean levitating cars, as shot by Peggy Sirota for GQ Magazine
Photo by Peggy Sirota for GQ Magazine

The internet appears to be an open forum on the state of black sexuality in 2012 today; Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash officially resigned from his duties at Sesame Street/Children’s Television Workshop in spite of the fact that the man who accused him of carrying on a statutory sexual relationship has apparently recanted the most damning parts of his story. At almost the same moment R. Kelly, who has had his own issues with underage partners (among other um, stuff) announced that he would be bringing his too-appropriately-named Trapped In The Closet melodrama to Broadway. In the midst of this whirlwind, GQ Magazine published an interview with Frank Ocean, their Rookie of The Year for 2011–now one of their Men Of The Year for 2012–in which he speaks openly about his decision to come out as a bisexual man–not that Ocean himself is comfortable with that label: “People should pay attention to that in the letter: I didn’t need to label it for it to have impact.” The letter in question was published on Ocean’s tumblr a scant 2 weeks before his album Channel Orange dropped this past summer–a move many considered to be the most most calculated sort of hype-mongering. Read on after the jump for the relevant quotes, as well as more insights on Ocean’s working relationship with Odd Future and his SNL appearance with John Mayer (and find full interview at GQ).

Frank Ocean on coming out as bisexual and worries about if it would hurt his career:

“I had those fears. In black music, we’ve got so many leaps and bounds to make with acceptance and tolerance in regard to that issue. It reflects something just ingrained, you know. When I was growing up, there was nobody in my family—not even my mother—who I could look to and be like, ‘I know you’ve never said anything homophobic.’ So, you know, you worry about people in the business who you’ve heard talk that way.”

On the timing of his letter on Tumblr:

“Some people said, ‘He’s saying he fell in love with a guy for hype.’ As if that’s the best hype you can get in hip-hop or black music. So I knew that if I was going to saywhat I said, it had to be in concert with one of the most brilliant pieces of art that has come out in my generation. And that’s what I did. Why can I say that? Why I don’t have to affect all this humility and shit is because I worked my ass off. I worked my face off. And the part that you love the most is the easiest part for me. So I’ll do it again.”


On challenging himself:

“John Mayer and I were talking in rehearsal before SNL, and he was like, ‘You love to take the hardest way. You don’t always have to.’ …We all know we have a finite period of time. I just feel if I’m going to be alive, I want to be challenged—to be as immortal as possible. The path to that isn’t an easy way, but it’s a rewarding way.”

On the personal importance of meeting Odd Future:

“At 20 or 21, I had, I think, a couple hundred thousand dollars [from producing and songwriting], a nice car, a Beverly Hills apartment—and I was miserable. Because of the relationship in part and the heartbreak in part, and also just miserable because of like just carting that around. And here was this group of like-minded individuals whose irreverence made me revere. The do-it-yourself mentality of OF really rubbed off on me.”

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