Sufjan Stevens has come out as part of the LGBTQIA+ community in an emotional tribute to his late partner.
On 6 October, the ‘Mystery of Love’ singer dropped his tenth studio album Javelin.
Since its release, the 10-track record has received universal acclaim from fans and critics, with many praising it for its heartfelt lyrics and immersive production.
To celebrate his new album, Stevens uploaded a heartfelt post to Instagram, dedicating the record to his later partner, Evans Richardson.
“This album is dedicated to the light of my life, my beloved partner and best friend Evans Richardson, who passed away in April,” he wrote.
“He was an absolute gem of a person, full of life, love, laughter, curiosity, integrity, and joy. He was one of those rare and beautiful ones you find only once in a lifetime—precious, impeccable, and absolutely exceptional in every way.”
According to an online obituary (obtained by Them), Richardson passed away on 30 April at the age of 43 and was chief of staff at Harlem’s Studio Museum – which highlighted Black artists and their artwork.
Towards the end of his statement, Stevens expressed the importance of caring for the ones “especially the beautiful ones, who are few and far between.”
He added: “If you happen to find that kind of love, hold it close, hold it tight, savour it, tend to it, and give it everything you’ve got, especially in times of trouble.
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“Be kind, be strong, be patient, be forgiving, be vigorous, be wise, and be yourself. Live every day as if it is your last, with fullness and grace, with reverence and love, with gratitude and joy.”
Shortly after uploading his heartbreaking post, fans of Stevens took to social media to share their reactions.
One fan on X (formerly known as Twitter) wrote: “Sufjan Stevens officially coming by sharing that his partner died… my heart actually may not be able to handle this.”
Another person posted: “Sufjan Stevens partner passed away and i’m sobbing inconsolably reading Sufjans’ message about him.”
While Stevens has kept his romantic life and sexuality relatively private, the ‘Fourth of July” singer has consistently used his platform to highlight and uplift the LGBTQIA+ community.
In 2019, he celebrated Pride Month by releasing his singles’ Love Yourself’ and ‘With My Whole Heart.’
He also donated the proceeds from the vinyl edition sales to the Ali Forney Centre in Harlem and the Ruth Ellis Centre in Detroit, which both support homeless LGBTQIA+ youth.
In 2017, he recorded two tracks – ‘Mystery of Love’ and Visions of Gideon’ – for the acclaimed gay drama Call Me By Your Name, further propelling his popularity within the community.
You can listen to Javelin on all streaming platforms.