Frank Ocean — the rising R&B artist behind the hit singles”Novacane” and “Swim Good,” revealed on his Tumblr blog Wednesday that he is gay.
In an open letter, Ocean revealed that he had fallen in love with a 19-year-old man in the summer of 2007 — when Ocean was also 19 — only to realize, after confessing his love for him, that the other man was already in a relationship.
“I don’t know what happens now, and that’s alrite (sic),” Ocean wrote. “I don’t have any secrets I need kept anymore…I feel like a free man.”
In an article titled “The Courage of Frank Ocean Just Changed the Game!” on the website Global Grind, Def Jam Records co-founder Russell Simmons hailed Ocean’s revelation:
“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? 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. These types of secrets should not matter anymore, but we know they do.”
Ocean, 24, who is also a member of the alternative hip-hop group Odd Future, self-released his debut album “nostalgia, ULTRA,” to critical success last year and will release an official album, “Channel Orange,” on July 17, featuring collaborations with John Mayer and Andre 3000 of OutKast.
Ocean has also written songs for Beyonce, Justin Bieber, John Legend and Brandy. He appeared on two songs from Jay-Z and Kanye West’s collaborative album, “Watch the Throne.”
Ocean’s is the second high-profile coming out story this week — on Monday, CNN news anchor and syndicated talk-show host Anderson Cooper also revealed that his is gay.