Frank Ocean celebrated Independence Day in his own special way on Wednesday. The 24-year-old singer addressed his sexuality and love affair with another man in an open and honest letter on his official Tumblr blog.
“Before writing this, I’d told some people my story. I’m sure these people kept me alive. Kept me safe…sincerely,” he wrote. “These are the folks I wanna thank from the floor of my heart. Everyone of you knows who you are..Great humans. Probably angels.”
He continues, “I don’t know what happens now, and that’s alright. I don’t have any secrets I need kept anymore.”
The overflowing love and support toward Ocean has poured in from fans worldwide, as well as members of the hip-hop and R&B community. In a post entitled “The Courage of Frank Ocean Just Changed the Game!” Russell Simmons discussed the lingering homophobia in the rap realm and his respect for the up-and-coming artist.
“I am profoundly moved by the courage and honesty of Frank Ocean. Your decision to go public about your sexual orientation gives hope and light to so many young people still living in fear,” he states.
Solange Knowles described Ocean as a “brave soul,” while band mate Tyler the Creator expressed how “proud” he was of his friend.
Veteran writer dream hampton took to Jay-Z‘s website Life & Times to pen a heartfelt letter to the courageous young man.
Thank you, Frank Ocean.
It’s true, we are a lot alike spinning on blackness. All wanting to be seen, touched, heard, paid attention to. In your opening few lines, you simultaneously established your humanity, a burden far too often asked of same sex lovers, and acknowledged that in this age of hyper self-awareness, amplified in no small part by the social media medium in which you made your announcement, we are desperate to share. You shared one of the most intimate things that ever happened to you – falling in love with someone who wasn’t brave enough to love you back. Your relieving yourself of your secret is as much about wanting to honestly connect as it is about exhibition. We are all made better by your decision to share publicly.
You and Anderson Cooper have the same coming out calendar week in common, but in many obvious ways, you couldn’t be more different. Anderson Cooper is an heir to one of America’s great Industrial Age fortunes and a network professional whose maleness and whiteness backed by his considerable accomplishments guarantee him work. You are a young Black man from New Orleans who fled your still struggling city. You didn’t arrive in Los Angeles with generational wealth and privilege, only the beautiful lyrics and melodies that danced through you and your dream of making it in a music industry whose sand castles were crumbling.
Ocean’s debut album Channel Orange hits stores July 17.
Read dream hampton’s full letter here…