Frank Ocean on His Sexuality: No Labels

Frank Ocean (Getty Images)
Frank Ocean (Getty Images)

Frank Ocean, the R&B artist who earlier this year "came out" (we use the term loosely) in a letter describing his relationship with a man, does not want to be called bisexual — or anything else, for that matter.


In a thoughtful interview with GQ, the content of which could be applied well beyond the issue of sexual orientation ("There's so much upkeep on a lie," and "You can't feel a box; you can't feel a label," Ocean said), he set the record straight — not about his identity but about how he'll define the conversation around it according to his own terms:

GQ: I'm sure if you'd wanted an excuse not to reveal the relationship, you could have found ten people in the industry who would have said, "Wait."

Frank Ocean: The pitch is, "You'll encounter less resistance in life if you say, 'No, I'm going to just keep dating girls.' " But then you're minimizing the resistance that you're feeling from yourself on the inside. There's so much upkeep on that [sh—]. So much upkeep on a lie. But at least everybody else is cool with how you carry on with your life. That's what they say. But know what fear does to your strength. You don't even feel smart or capable. You just feel broken — and not just your heart. Just a broken person.

 GQ: So do you consider yourself bisexual?

Frank Ocean: You can move to the next question. I'll respectfully say that life is dynamic and comes along with dynamic experiences, and the same sentiment that I have towards genres of music, I have towards a lot of labels and boxes and [sh—]. I'm in this business to be creative — I'll even diminish it and say to be a content provider. One of the pieces of content that I'm for [f—k] sure not giving is porn videos. 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 [sh—]. 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—], you can't feel. You can't feel a box. You can't feel a label. Don't get caught up in that [sh—]. There's so much something in life. Don't get caught up in the nothing. That [sh—] is nothing, you know? It's nothing. Vanish the fear.

Read more at GQ.