Another Black star emerged from the closet this week.

Frank Ocean, R&B star and member of the hip-hop collective Odd Future, opened up about his sexuality and his love affair with a man on his Tumblr account July 4.

“ summers ago I met somebody. I was 19 years old. He was too,” Ocean wrote. He later said, “I don’t have any secrets I need kept anymore…. I feel like a free man.”

The revelation was supposed to be part of the credits in the crooner’s anticipated new album “Channel Orange,” which comes out July 17.

“What I’m about to post is for anyone who cares to read,” Ocean wrote in an earlier Tumblr post on July 4. “It was intended to fill the thank you’s section in my album credits, but with all the rumors going round… I figured it’d be good to clarify.”

Though Ocean never identifies himself as either gay or bisexual, he talks about the joy and pain of his “first love” and the summers they spent 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 wrote.

But later, he talked about the pain when his lover would not reciprocate his declared feelings.
“He said kind things. He did his best, but he wouldn’t admit the same. He had to go back inside soon. It was late and his girlfriend was waiting for him upstairs. He wouldn’t tell me the truth about his feelings for another 3 years.”

Though there are some who are upset by Ocean’s declaration and others who view Ocean’s statement as a ploy to boost interest in his upcoming album, still others are hailing it as a courageous move, especially in the often homophobic environment of the hip-hop and R&B industry.

“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?” wrote producer Russell Simmons in a blog post Wednesday.

“I am profoundly moved by the courage and honesty of Frank Ocean,” he continued. “Your decision to go public about your sexual orientation gives hope and light to so many young people still living in fear.”

Ocean became a star to watch with the February 2011 release of his first project, a mix tape titled Nostalgia, Ultra. Since then, he has written songs for artists such as Brandy Norwood, John Legend, Beyoncé Knowles and Justin Bieber. He also made guest appearances on Kanye and Jay-Z’s Watch the Throne.