After a listening for Frank Ocean’s upcoming album Channel Orange was held last month, speculation over the R&B singer’s sexuality grew, particularly after the blogger This Is Max noted that a few songs on the album seemed to be inspired by a love story between two men. Assumptions and rumors quicky spread, and Ocean has now posted an emotional response on Tumblr addressing the speculation.
“Whoever you are, wherever you are … I’m starting to think we’re a lot alike. Human beings spinning on blackness,” he begins. “In the last year or 3 I’ve screamed at my creator. Screamed at clouds in the sky. For some explanation. Mercy maybe.” Ocean relates a story of meeting a boy four summers ago, at age 19. As he grew closer to his new companion, Ocean reveals he began to have feelings for him, often sleeping alongside him. “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.”
Ocean continues, explaining how the experience made him think back on his old girlfriends and realize that the “sentimental songs” he tied to those memories felt strange. “I realized they were written in a language I did not yet speak. I realized too much too quickly.” Despite admitting his feelings to his companion, his friend wouldn’t tell him the same. “He wouldn’t tell me the truth about his feelings for me for another 3 years,” writes Ocean. “I kept up a peculiar friendship with him because I couldn’t imagine keeping up my life without him.”
Ocean leaves the fate of his relationship unclear and indicates that although the situation has worn on him over the years, he is thankful for it. “I was never alone, as much as I felt like it … To my first love, I’m grateful for you. Grateful that even though it wasn’t what I hoped for and even though it was never enough, it was. Some things never are … and we were.” Ocean wraps up the post by saying thanks and keeping positive in moving forward. “So thank you. All of you. For everything good. I feel like a free man. If I listen closely … I can hear the sky falling too.”
Ocean’s Channel Orange is set for a July 17th release.