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Frank Ocean

My Frank Ocean ‘fix’ is finally here

The R&B crooner’s first album helped me settle in my truth — and he’s back

A text message popped in my phone.

“Your boy Frank Ocean is playing his album on the live-stream right now.”

I screamed. I listened to the opening part of the live-stream during a seven-minute drive to the grocery store. I sat in the car letting the live-stream play. I rolled the windows down and allowed the smooth sounds, tunes, falsettos and vibes to captivate my soul for an additional 15 minutes.

Ocean was back in my life. I’m that person described in all those memes and GIFs every time the album didn’t drop during this four-year wait. I’ve never been a hopeful romantic, but this hiatus has tested my trust in so many ways.

Like for so many, Ocean’s first album Channel Orange hit home and kept me wanting more. And here is why:

The first concert I ever attended alone was Ocean’s. Even though we’ve never formally met — outside of him shaking my hand and smiling at me as he dipped it into the crowd during one of his sets — I felt like I understood parts of him.

When I heard his hit song Thinkin’ Bout You, I could relate. When I heard the song Novacane, his numbing effect for love was a strong thought for me. It was loud and clear when he said marriage isn’t just between a man and a woman, but between love and love in We All Try.

When Ocean announced his bisexuality in a letter on his Tumblr, days before his album’s release, I was filled with overwhelming joy — happy that he could walk in his truth. Exuberant that he felt free. And elated that I was able to watch his evolution from start to finish.

I was happy to see someone in my age group and from the black community letting his sexuality be known. I know there are others who exposed their truths before Ocean, but I didn’t witness their process and therefore wasn’t as emotionally connected.

When he sang Thinkin’ Bout You without any male or female pronouns, it stuck to me like a Velcro board because I felt the same way about my truth and my feelings.

My best friend is the one who introduced me to Ocean through We All Try. I coped with my own sexuality by listening to his songs. Swim Good being my absolute favorite because I believed that the moment I stepped into my truth about this part of me, I’d be happier.

Through Ocean’s music and support from my friends and family, I realized that I was scaring myself. I was cheating myself out of potential happiness. I’ve been comfortably out for three years, and I have never felt so liberated.

“I don’t have any secrets I need kept anymore,” Ocean wrote in his thank you letter to his fans.

So this is why his new album is my fix.

Rhiannon Walker is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a drinker of Sassy Cow Creamery chocolate milk, an owner of an extensive Disney VHS collection, and she might have a heart attack if Frank Ocean doesn't drop his second album.