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Frank Ocean: Coming Out Had to Do With 'My Own Sanity'

R&B singer reflects on decision to open up about his sexuality

July 21, 2012 5:05 PM ET
Frank Ocean performs during Coachella Music Festival.
Frank Ocean performs during Coachella Music Festival.
C Flanigan/FilmMagic

"People are just afraid of things too much. Afraid of things that don't necessarily merit fear," Frank Ocean told the Guardian this weekend, in an interview that touched heavily on the R&B singer's decision to open up about his sexuality in a recent Tumblr post

Ocean explained that the letter he posted on Tumblr was originally intended to be included in the sleeve notes to Channel Orange, and would have preemptively addressed the fact that some of the love songs on the album are clearly about men. "I knew that I was writing in a way that people would ask questions," he told the Guardian. "I knew that my star was rising, and I knew that if I waited I would always have somebody that I respected be able to encourage me to wait longer, to not say it till who knows when."

Ocean's decision to come out has drawn support from many other musicians, including Beyoncé, Russell Simmons and 50 Cent, who told MTV, "Anyone that has an issue with Frank Ocean is an idiot."

When pressed about the courage it took to come out within the context of hip-hop and R&B, Ocean reluctantly attributed some part of his decision to a sense of altruism. "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," he said. "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."

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