Odd Future singer Frank Ocean chose Independence Day to address rumors regarding his sexuality. He did it by posting an emotional and elegant ode to his first love, a man he met four years ago when he was 19 years old.
Before presenting it, he posted this note to his Tumblr followers:
"we’re all a bunch of golden million dollar babies. my hope is that the babies born these days will inherit less of the bullshit than we did. anyhow, what i'm about to post is for anyone who cares to read. it was intended to fill the thank you's section in my album credits, but with all the rumors going round.. i figured it'd be good to clarify."
The open letter reads in part:
"By the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless. There was no escaping, no negotiating with the feeling. No choice. It was my first love, it changed my life. Back then, my mind would wander to the women I had been with, the ones I cared for and thought I was in love with. I reminisced about the sentimental songs I enjoyed when I was a teenager...the ones I played when I experienced a girlfriend for the first time. I realized they were written in a language I did not yet speak."
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The response from his peers, including his bandmates, was positive and swift. Hours after the letter's posting, Def Jam mogul Russell Simmons issued a statement calling Ocean's coming out "a big day for hip-hop."
"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, and because of that I decided to write this short statement of support for one of the greatest new artists we have.
"His 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."