Sufjan Stevens’ private life has become public in the lead-up to Javelin, his latest album released on Friday (October 6). In late September, Stevens shared that he’d been hospitalized and diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a rare autoimmune disorder that caused his hands, arms, and legs to go numb — robbing him of the ability to walk. On Friday, Stevens’ admirable vulnerability was yet again on display when, for the first time, he gave an intimate glimpse into his love life and sexuality.

JAVELIN is out today,” Stevens captioned an Instagram post. “Thank you for listening. I love you. This album is dedicated to the light of my life, my beloved partner and best friend Evans Richardson, who passed away in April. 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.”

The photo shows Richardson smiling while relaxing in bed.

Stevens continued in the caption, “I know relationships can be very difficult sometimes, but it’s always worth it to put in the hard work and care for the ones you love, especially the beautiful ones, who are few and far between. If you happen to find that kind of love, hold it close, hold it tight, savor it, tend to it, and give it everything you’ve got, especially in times of trouble. 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. This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Thank you. I love you. XOS”

It is no one’s place to speculate about Stevens’ sexuality. It would be irresponsible (and disrespectful) to project any label onto him, other than brave.

Javelin is out now via Asthmatic Kitty Records. Find more information here.

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