Frank Ocean is gay, or at least bisexual, according to a post he put out on the microblogging platform tumblr.
Ocean, 24, said four summers ago, when he was 19 years old, he met a man the same age.
They spent that summer and the following summer together. They were with each other almost every day. Ocean also said they often slept together.
Eventually, he realized he was in love with the man, and that his past relationshuips with women weren't the same.
It was my first love, wrote Ocean, whose debut album Channel Orange is scheduled for release on July 17.
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One day, he confessed his feelings to his male friend. But his friend did not reciprocate and went back to his girlfriend.
Subsequently, he kept up a peculiar friendship with the man.
Ocean's confession is significant in that he is the most notable male rapper to date to publicly air his homosexual feelings.
One hip-hop heavyweight who came out in support of Ocean was Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons.
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, said Simmons.
Frank Ocean opened up possibilities around who and what black men can be in public. He needs a round of applause, tweeted Twitter user @DiggsWayne.
Not all his fans were supportive of his gay confession, however.
What is the world coming to, Frank Ocean gay, I had to delete all his music, tweeted @rodblessed4ever.