July 10, 2013 | by Michael K. Lavers
Gay country singer Steve Grand sends video viral
Steve Grand, All American Boy, Country Music, Gay News, Washington Blade

‘All-American Boy’ by Steve Grand features a gay man who skinny-dips with his straight friend. (Screen capture via Youtube)

CHICAGO—A gay country singer’s first music video has received more than 840,000 views since he posted it to YouTube on July 2.

The video for “All-American Boy” by Steve Grand features a gay man who skinny-dips with his straight friend while they are on a camping trip. The two men briefly kiss, but the straight man playfully rejects his advance.

Grand told ABC News on July 9 his song is “about that longing for someone” as opposed to “about being gay.”

“I wrote it from the most [pure] genuine place of my soul,” he said.

Some gay rights advocates have criticized Grand’s video for depicting a scenario they say could prompt anti-gay violence.

“Maybe Grand figures that his fellow gays will be too distracted by the video’s lascivious preoccupation with his pouty lips and sculpted abs to notice that,” Mark S. King wrote on the Bilerico Project on July 8. “As portrayed here, he is one false move away from some serious gay bashing.”

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

16 Comments
  • Some gay rights advocates Need to get a life. I found this video very inspirational and wiil not tell anyone to go back into the closet because of fear. Yes I have a set of big one’s and I’m not afraid to let people know it.

  • The media has pegged Grand a country singer, but he sings all sorts of songs. Here’s a cover he made last year that no place seems to have picked up on yet.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_hZPo7LEA8

  • The straight guy reacts well, which is possible, get over it, not all straight people want to bash.

  • it's a decent song, but Grand decided to make it about a closeted gay guy hoping a straight guy will ditch their girlfriends and have sex with him. Is that really the message we want to send to the younger gays? No.

  • re-edit the video with the guys figuring out they like each other with out the girlfriend part and this would have been a very pro-gay song/video

  • I really think that this music video is a reflection of something almost every gay man growing up experiences. There is always a crush (or temporary relationship) on/with a straight guy that never goes anywhere. What I think is totally revolutionary about this video is that the straight guy acknowledges (and rebuffs) the attention, but still decides to be good friends anyway.

    Frankly, this is the way things should be in the USA. Just getting hit on by someone of the same sex is NOT a degradation of one's masculinity. Take the example of straight guys in Europe who are hit on or whistled at by gay guys, and then just pump up their chests, smile, wink and keep on walking.

  • Skeeter Sanders

    Having watched this video, I have to say that Mark S. King is WAY off base.

    In the first place, it’s pretty obvious that the straight guy knows that his friend is gay. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have reacted as positively as he did. If the straight guy was homophobic, they obviously would not be friends, would they?

    This is 2013, not 1983. An entire generation of Americans has grown up knowing at least one person close to them who is gay — either a close friend or a member of their own family. It’s the primary reason why support for marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples is so overwhelming among Americans under the age of 40.

    That said, I was nonetheless bothered by the liberal consumption of alcohol — not beer, but hard whisky — in this video. People under the influence of hard whisky often do things that they wouldn’t consider doing while sober.

    • Skeeter Sanders

      P.S.: It will be VERY interesting to see if this video gets airplay on Country Music Television (CMT) or Great American Country (GAC).

  • It's hard to discern whether Steve wants his video to be about portraying a concept or portraying real people in his life. Neil Alan, his crush in the video, does gay porn for Fratmen.TV, so it's hard to know just what the category of, a straight man, refers to here. And not all straight men are uncomfortable doing straight acting gay-for-pay web porn videos. At the minimum, I think it is fair to say that Neil was not uncomfortable being kissed by Steve, but maybe not exactly for the reasons the video seems to suggest.

  • The production company for Steve Grand’s music video, All-American Boy, is Digital Skylight. The actor portraying the man Steve is feeling unrequited love for is Nicholas Alan. Credits for the video are available at: http://www.digitalskylight.tv/work/american-boy.html.
    This is Steve’s first professional, production company produced, music video. You can see some of Nick Alan’s other professionally produced works at Fratmen.TV. Ashley Lobo’s link is: ashleylobo.com. Regina Marie is also listed as a cast member. Steve has published other music videos under: Steve Starchild. His stage name is Finn Diesel for his modeling projects. Nick’s stage name is Tyler. Max Steger and Sammy Del Real joined with Steve in the music production.

  • I had the biggest crush on my best friend growing up, we have been friends for over 50 years and he just laughed and felt a little embarrassed , like Really, me, we're still besties as well as all of my friends that have been around as long as I am.

  • Michael Bedwell

    A gay columnist at Slate put it best: "What the video also suggests is that gays are still hovering on the periphery of straight parties and couplings, yearning for a chance to get in on the action—instead of finding love and happiness among our increasingly legally protected selves. It’s just that now, rather than getting a bloody nose when the ruse falls apart, our hero will merely be left alone. Tolerance, in other words, is the best we can hope for. Forgive me, but I find that a little less than revolutionary."

  • Michael Bedwell

    A gay columnist at Slate put it best: “What the video also suggests is that gays are still hovering on the periphery of straight parties and couplings, yearning for a chance to get in on the action—instead of finding love and happiness among our increasingly legally protected selves. It’s just that now, rather than getting a bloody nose when the ruse falls apart, our hero will merely be left alone. Tolerance, in other words, is the best we can hope for. Forgive me, but I find that a little less than revolutionary.”

  • To learn more: The Twitter username for Jason Knade, the director of AAB, with Digital Skylight, is @JasonKnade. The Twitter username for Nicholas Alan or ‘Taylor’ is @DocTayTay. You can locate their tweets relating to Steve’s video with the hashtag of #allamericanboy.

    Jason’s bio is at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4200952/bio

    Mini Biography
    Jason has won a dozen film festival awards; had 50+ festival screenings in cities like Amsterdam, Torino, Mumbai, Milan, Dublin, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York; and been named the “Best Filmmaker” in Chicago by the Chicago Reader, as part of its annual “Best of Chicago” issue. He was also nominated for the Iris Prize, the most important award in the world for LGBT short films. Commercially, he’s worked with The Joffrey Ballet, Subway, Anglo American Optical, Nutrition Direct, and a dozen other companies.

    Personal Quotes
    Documentary filmmaking is the pursuit of truth; narrative filmmaking is the pursuit of Truth.

  • Nicholas Alan was the actor portraying the straight male, unrequited love interest of Steve Grand, in the music video, All-American Boy produced by Digital Skylight. This is the caption for Nick Alan’s video. His video was put up on July 14th:

    “The All American boy makes his debut at GayHoopla. Don’t let debut fake you out, because this All American Boy is no stranger to the camera. After leaving the Steve Grand’s set, he came straight here to shake it and jerk it for the masses. Check out this stud as he is so eager to show.”

  • Bob, I’ve attempted to present in the comments that I have posted here that I wish Steve was telling the story of a straight male friend who was respecting him and not rebuffing him for his advances. And while we know of many straight men who do this for us, Steve chose to not ask a straight man to perform that role in his video. Steve needed the man in his video to be his straight acting gay male crush. As I have explored this further, it’s become more troubling to me. I’ve made available additional resources to what I’ve posted here, at: http://ethnologystudy.blogspot.com/.

    The real story here is that Steve met Nicholas Alan about a year and a half ago in Miami. Nick, aka. Taylor, states that Steve felt Nick was Steve’s AAB right from the start. Nick, as a gay man himself, has in common with Steve the trade of marketing his well-sculptured body and fairly attractive appearance. Basically that’s all that they have in common, it appears. Steve modeled for gay underwear photo-shoots, Nick does straight acting gay porn. Nick is precisely the type of person Steve talks about that he has crushed on for most of his life, but not because he is portrayed to be straight. Thus, Nick is an even greater unrequited love for Steve, because he is a gay man whom Steve still cannot have.

    Steve’s real idea of the All-American Boy is a straight acting, cocky, well-toned, somewhat self-absorbed, fairly attractive, sports oriented, slightly older male, confident enough to do gay porn. That Steve needed to have this particular type of man to act the role for him of a likely straight man, for him to pull off his video is sad. And then to suggest that this is an example of what we are working toward in terms of respect in our society. I believe this insults most all of us. Except those who came up with the idea. It’s clever marketing from Jason, Nick and Steve. I’ll give them that. Go, capitalism and the free market.

    Most of those who embrace Steve’s story are not embracing the reality of his story. But, merely a distorted symbolic adult representation of his childhood story, retold in a context that he can be comfortable telling it in. It’s valid that we read our stories into this story. I just wish Steve could have been honest about his own. This video does a disservice even to those who would comfortably and confidently say that they are bisexual in their identity and in their orientation.

    I’d say that roughly 95% of the hundreds of comments that I have read from people, such as yourself, suggest that they felt Steve’s crush was representing a straight man. When in reality, Steve couldn’t even do the video with a straight man. He needed to have his unrequited gay male crush represent for him unrequited straight male attraction. It may make for good music and a good video, howbeit, hardly country, but it’s not helpful honesty as we work to move our society forward in terms of meaningful understanding.

    I think our culture is ready to be respecting enough that Steve could have simply been honest, told his real story of youth or adulthood, instead of feeling the need to deceive the public to market his song. He was unclear, just enough, not to be guilty of outright distortion. Yet definitely not transparent enough to earn my respect, even while I accept what he is trying to do.

    I’ve organized on my blog site, the articles, interviews, and Twitter conversations, that I gleaned trying to understand where Steve was coming from. I offer them to you for your evaluation and consideration. In part, at least, I think Steve is well meaning and is trying to figure out just what honesty is for him. He is young. I hope he learns from this experience.

    I’m thankful that the Washington Post has allowed me to share my comments here. The tone of this article’s author, Michael K. Lavers, is what drew me to want to participate here.

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