It's that time of the year again: the time when we sit back, reflect on our scrappy little nation's seemingly quixotic war for independence from an omnipresent empire and exclaim, "Hot damn, we did it!"
It feels good to be free, huh? Free from tyranny, free from the closet, free from whatever. But let's not forget that the American Revolution wasn't simply about the States, of which there were far fewer. It was a fight for freedom everywhere, one that inspired similar battles still raging today. Hot damn, we did it, but there's still more work to be done, including here at home...
But let us also not get too deep right now. Let's keep this light: have fun today, play outside and enjoy your independence responsibly. I'll see you back here tomorrow, when the work week again absorbs us into its oppressive schedules and routines.
Freedom, it can be so fleeting.
The declaration, build around the first time he fell in love, was meant to be included in Channel Orange's liner notes, but Ocrean decided to publish them ahead of time. Here is the bit about struggling to come to terms with his emotions as the love of his life bottled his own:
4 summers ago, I met somebody. I was 19 years old. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost. And on the days we were together, time would glide. Most of the day I'd see him, and his smile. I'd hear his conversation and his silence ... until it was time to sleep. Sleep I would often share with him. By the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless...
I sat there and told my friend how I felt. I wept as the words left my mouth. I grieved for them, knowing I could never take them back for myself. He patted my back. 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 me for another 3 years. I felt like I'd only imagined reciprocity for years. Now imagine being thrown from a cliff. No, I wasn't on a cliff, I was still in my car telling myself it was gonna be fine and to take deep breaths. I took the breaths and carried on. I kept up a peculiar friendship with him because I couldn't imagine keeping up my life without him. I struggled to master myself and my emotions. I wasn't always successful.
He concludes, "To my mother, you raised me strong. I know I'm only brave because you were first ... so thank you. All of you. For everything good. I feel like a free man."
Read the rest of Ocean's coming out remarks, which I've included as a pop-out window, AFTER THE JUMP.