Late yesterday afternoon, Buzzfeed.com (credit for all .gifs) introduced their readers to Steve Grand, “the first openly gay male country star.” I must admit, choosing to be a celebrity in a genre of music that is heteronormatively dominated, just like Frank Ocean did recently, Grand is pretty brave. So cheers, Steve.
He writes: “time to be brave. the world does not see change until it sees honesty. I am taking a risk here in manyways, but really there is no choice but to be brave. To not tell this story is to let my soul die. It is all I believe in. It is all I hold dear. We have all longed for someone we can never have… we all have felt that ache for our #allamericanboy.”
What better way to celebrate Independence Day this year than to truly be who you want to be and love who you want to love. GO AMERICA!
His debut single, “All-American Boy,” retells the story we (as gay men) have come to know well at least once in our lives: the story of unrequited love between a gay man and a straight man.
Video Synopsis: After some bro-ing out by the camp fire, which Grand interprets as flirting or at least an invitation to pursue his infatuation, Grand and his straight crush (along with his girlfriend) embark on a road trip. The girlfriend, portrayed as loose and irrational, ends up fighting with her boyfriend and drives off in their car leaving Grand alone with his crush. Whiskey conveniently appears and one thing leads to another and they are swimming in the lake naked. Things go south when Grand kisses the guy in the water and Grand realizes his fantasy is not shared. He is left broken hearted screaming on the inside “WHY DON’T YOU LOVE ME?!”
Grand knows full well that his crush has a lady friend. Regardless of her being a possible beard, he laments throughout the song how she treats him like shit and is no good for him, and how he (Grand) would love him, albeit differently (p.s. he has a penis), much better than she currently does.
Now I know that that’s your girl, I mean no disrespect/ the way that shirt hugs you chest boy, I just won’t forget/ I’ll be sittin here, drinking my whiskey/ I won’t say goodnight unless I think ya might miss me, ohh/ Be my All-American boy tonight.
Now I know that that’s your girl, and I don’t give a damn/ She’s been cusin and cryin, she don’t know what she has/ So I’ll be, sittin here, tryin hold down my whiskey/ You tell your girl goodnight cause somebody’d like to kiss me, ohh.
Grand doesn’t seem to care that he has a lady friend. In fact, he “don’t give a damn.” All he wants is his crush to love him as he would love a girl. He just wants his crush to hold him, kiss him, to be his.
I think we’ve all been there, gay or straight, when someone just doesn’t feel the same way about you. It sucks and hurts. But for gay men, being infatuated with straight men I think is a complex issue that we (gay men) love to joke about, e.g. What’s the difference between a gay man and a straight man? Six beers.
In the recent film, Gayby, Nelson scolds his best friend Jamie for overly lusting after a seemingly heterosexual guy in a comic book store. “Straight men are not hot. We’re gay. We like gay guys. We have self esteem today.” Nelson’s message stuck with me. How much does a gay man’s infatuation/lust/love with a straight friend or a straight guy in general, speak to our self-esteem as a gay man?
As sexuality goes these days, its not right to assume anything about anyone’s preferences or desires. Look what happened to Carly Rae Jepson in her video for “Call Me, Maybe?” However, when it is a little more than obvious that the object of our desire is into the lady parts, why are we (at times) willing to completely fool ourselves into thinking they will change to satisfy our personal desires or fulfill our deeper needs? What about the pressure to be hyper-masculine? Grand does mention in a post that “we all have felt that ache for our #allamericanboy.” Can an “all american boy” be gay too?
Discuss? Share? Comment?