Congratulations to out R&B artist, Frank Ocean, on winning two Grammy’s in 2013: one for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for “No Church in the Wild,” which he worked on with Jay-Z and Kanye West, and another for Best Urban Contemporary Album for Channel Orange.
When Ocean first released Channel Orange, speculation over his sexual orientation became more widespread and more public. To address growing rumors, Ocean bravely recounted his first love on his Tumblr account: “4 summers ago, I met somebody. I was 19 years old. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost. And on the days we were together, time would glide. Most of the day I’d see him, and his smile. I’d hear his conversation and his silence … until it was time to sleep. Sleep I would often share with him. By the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless…”
After posting about his first love, Ocean received visible support from the hip-hop community, including fellow band member, Tyler, the Creator, and Beyonce, who superimposed, “BE FEARLESS, BE HONEST, BE GEBEROUS, BE BRAVE, BE POETIC, BE OPEN, BE FREE, BE YOURSELF, BE IN LOVE, BE HAPPY, BE INSPIRATION,” over Ocean’s picture. And while some in the industry were antagonistic, Ocean confided to GQ Magazine that after he came out, “I was happy. I hadn’t been happy in so long. I’ve been sad again since, but it’s a totally different take on sad. There’s just some magic in truth and honesty and openness.”
The gay and lesbian therapists at Chicago based IntraSpectrum congratulate Ocean on his two Grammy’s, but more importantly, on his decision to come out and serve as a celebrated role model to all youth, including those who may be struggling to come to terms with their sexual orientations.