Odd Future rapper Frank Ocean declares his independence on U.S. Independence Day, revealing that his first love was with a man. The Kanye West protege came out of the closet after a BBC1 Xtra writer pointed out that he uses "him" instead of "her" on several tracks in his upcoming album "Channel Orange".
Ocean met somebody four summers ago. "I was 19 years old. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. 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," he said.
It all came with a personal struggle. "In the last year or 3 I've screamed at my creator," Ocean said. "Screamed at clouds in the sky. For some explanation. Mercy maybe. For peace of mind to rain like manna somehow."
Ocean did not specify his current relationship status, but he says coming out makes him feel "like a free man. If I listen closely ...I can hear the sky falling too."
His confession was met with positive reactions from fellow celebrities. His bandmate Tyler, the Creator tweeted, "My Big Brother Finally F**king Did That. Proud Of That N***a Cause I KNow That Sh*t Is Difficult Or Whatever."
Meanwhile, producer Russell Simmons wrote on his website, "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. His gifts are undeniable. His talent, enormous. His bravery, incredible. ... Frank, we thank you. We support you. We love you."
Country star Chely Wright, who came out as gay in 2010, said "I can't think of a better way for Frank to celebrate Independence Day. It's spectacular."