We were as a gobsmacked as everyone else when, in a blog psot, Frank Ocean revealed his first romantic relationship was with a man.
I was 19 years old. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Every day almost, and on the day we were together, time would glide. Most of the day I’d see him, and his smile. By the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless.”
In the message, apparently first written in December 2011, Ocean indicated the other man was already spoken for. But the singer says says being open about his past has allowed him “to feel like a free man.”
Ocean has written songs for Justin Bieber and John Legend, but it was making a bold public statement in advance of his own debut album, Channel Orange, that was a pop-culture breakthrough. And Orange‘s subsequent critical and commercial success suggests hip-hop might be accepting of an openly gay or bi superstar. After Ocean’s revelation, music mogul Russell Simmons remarked:
“Today is a big day for hip-hop. It is a day that will define who we really are. How compassionate will we be? How loving can we be? How inclusive are we?
…[Ocean's] gifts are undeniable. His talent, enormous. His bravery, incredible. His actions this morning will uplift our consciousness and allow us to become better people. Every single one of us is born with peace and tranquility in our heart. Frank just found his.
Frank, we thank you. We support you. We love you.