R&B singer Frank Ocean came out in an emotional blog Tuesday, revealing that his first love at 19 was a man.
"4 summers ago, I met somebody. I was 19 years old. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Every day almost. And on the days we were together, time would glide," the "Novacane" singer wrote. "By the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless. There was no escaping, no negotiating with feeling. No choice. It was my first love. It changed my life."
The Def Jam artist, who's part of the group Odd Future, also admitted to using music as catharsis: "I wrote to keep myself busy and sane. I wanted to create worlds that were rosier than mine."
Photos: Out and proud celebrities
Ocean went on to thank those closest to him who kept his "story" safe over the years, before adding, "I don't have any secrets I need to keep anymore... I feel like a free man."
Shortly after coming out, Ocean's peers voiced their support for the singer, who will release his debut album Channel Orange later this month.
"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?" Russell Simmons wrote a blog post for Global Grind. "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... 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."