Now the rising R&B star is divulging to GQ what motivated him to pen the open letter about loving another man that not only made industry waves but inspired many of the songs on his debut album, Channel Orange.
When asked why he decided to go public with his sexuality (on Independence Day, no less), the 25-year-old Ocean said he felt compelled after he had been asked by a journalist about his use of male pronouns in some of the tracks and realized he needed to come clean.
"I was just like, 'F--k it. Talk about it, don't talk about it—talk about this.' No more mystery. Through with that," the "Novacane" singer told the magazine for its December issue.
Ocean subsequently made his declaration on his Tumblr page, an action he said landed him on an emotional roller coaster.
"The night I posted it, I cried like a f--king baby," he recalled. "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."
As for the blowback Ocean thought might await him within the hip-hop community, Ocean confessed he worried it might end his career just as it was getting started.
"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," the crooner noted. "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. Some of my heroes coming up talk recklessly like that."
Thankfully, his admission was quickly embraced by such hip-hop royalty as Russell Simmons and Beyoncé among others who expressed their support, though to his detractors, Ocean rejected any suggestion that his admission was all for "hype."
When asked if he's bisexual, Frank politely declined to answer, except to say that "life is dynamic and comes along with dynamic experiences."
But his message to his fans was pretty straight—forward, that is.
"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…you can't feel a box. You can't feel a label," he said.