Frank Ocean took a stance that was as risky it was courageous. In the end, however, two things came out if for him that made the admission of his sexuality a win-win for him.
One, Frank Ocean was not turned into a leper in an industry that has been, at times, blatantly anti-gay. He mostly has been embraced as someone of strength and character. And two, it did not impact record sales — at least not in a negative way. Ocean’s Def Jam debut wasn’t negatively affected by the admission. Channel ORANGE, selling only digital No. 2 on the Billboard 200 in its first week with 131,000 copies sold.
Ocean addresses his much-publicized admission that his first love was a man in an interview with the Guardian.
He described the decision to come out like “removing a bolder from my chest,” adding that he felt it was important to be honest with his fans and avoid potential confusion about the male-focused viewpoint of songs like “Bad Religion” and “Forrest Gump.
“It was about my own sanity and my ability to feel like I’m living a life where I’m happy when I wake up in the morning,” he said.
For Frank Ocean, it was also about artist transparency, he said. “I wished at 13 there was somebody I looked up to who would have said something like that, who would have been transparent in that way,” he said.
While many viewed the revelation as a risky choice, Frank Ocean said he did not agree. Rather, he said that people are too afraid to be honest about themselves.
“People are just afraid of things too much,” he said. “Sure, evil exists, extremism exists. 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.”