This past Tuesday, July 3, R&B singer-songwriter Frank Ocean revealed in a post on Tumblr (socialized via a tweet with over 13,000 retweets and 8,000 favorites) that his first love was a man. His original plan was to publish the letter in the liner notes for his new album, but he instead took to the Internet to go public immediately.
4 summers ago, I met somebody. I was 19 years old. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost. And on the days we were together, time would glide. Most of the day I'd see him, and his smile. Sleep I would often share with him. By the time I realised I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless. There was no escaping, no negotiating to the women I had been with, the ones I cared for and thought I was in love with.
This came only a day after CNN's Anderson Cooper launched an open letter confirming his homosexuality.
According to Topsy.com, Frank Ocean was mentioned almost 200,000 times in the past week, with many talking about how this is a landmark moment for the stereotypically "homophobic hip-hop genre" and others, such as Russell Simmons, commending Ocean for his raw honesty.
Ocean also received support from influential colleagues via Twitter.
Dear @frank_ocean, I ask that U guide my thoughts, my feelings & my perceptions AMEN
— RuPaul (@RuPaul) July 5, 2012
Once a brave soul opens up life doesn't seem as hard as you thought it was. @frank_ocean inspirational.
— Rita Ora (@RitaOra) July 5, 2012
Much love and respect to Frank Ocean. A brave thing to do, and the right thing to do. Sincerely, Knoxville
— Johnny Knoxville (@realjknoxville) July 5, 2012
My son is brave and honest and I am very proud of him. I wish more people in the world could be brave enough to be who they really are.
— katonya breaux riley (@katonya) July 4, 2012
Ocean is best known as a member of hip-hop group Odd Future with Tyler, the Creator, as well as for having written songs for Beyonce, Justin Bieber, and John Legend. He was also featured on two tracks from Jay-Z and Kanye West’s album, “Watch the Throne.”
Following last year's "Nostalgia, Ultra" mixtape, the 24-year-old's first official album, "Channel Orange" is due out on July 17 from Def Jam.
Today, Ocean released his new single in another tweet with a link to his Tumblr page, followed by an announcement about his appearance on Fallon this Monday. The song's title is currently trending on Twitter, with Topsy.com reporting almost 3,000 mentions in the past hour.