In 2011, GQ named Frank Ocean as “Rookie of the Year” for their year end issue. What a difference a year makes. Since then, he’s released his debut album, Channel Orange, to impressive first week numbers, appeared on Saturday Night Live and was the first artist to have an entire episode of Gossip Girl feature only his music. But even with all those accomplishments, 2012 will remembered as the year he “came out”.
The 25-year-old R&B singer sits with GQ’s Amy Wallace to open up about his crazy year. From his personal life to career, most notably the huge “gay” bomb he dropped on the hip-hop world. Discover how Ocean’s open letter changed his life forever. The accompanying photos were snapped by regular GQ photog Peggy Sirota. Frank as always, looks stylin’ and profilin’ in each shot. I want his entire wardrobe.
“I’m not a centerfold. I’m not trying to sell you sex. People should pay attention to that in the letter: I didn’t need to label it for it to have impact. Because people realize everything that I say is so relatable, because when you’re talking about romantic love, both sides in all scenarios feel the same shit. As a writer, as a creator, I’m giving you my experiences. But just take what I give you. You ain’t got to pry beyond that. I’m giving you what I feel like you can feel. The other sh-t, you can’t feel. You can’t feel a box. You can’t feel a label.”
“The night I posted it, I cried like a f–king baby. It was like all the frequency just clicked to a change in my head. All the receptors were now receiving a different signal, and 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.”
“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.”
For more pictures and to read the rest of the interview, head over to www.gq.com.