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article imageSteve Grand’s ‘All-American Boy’ becomes Internet sensation

By Mathew Wace Peck     Jul 16, 2013 in Entertainment
Country singer Steve Grand thanks fans and reflects on life following his coming-out video, posted online two weeks ago.
On 2 July – somewhat apprehensively – US country singer Steve Grand released the YouTube video of his song “All-American Boy”, the lyrics of which are available on his Bandcamp page.
The 22-year-old was apprehensive because he was coming out as gay to his fans, family and friends – and he didn’t know what the response would be.
Writing on his Facebook page, Grand says, “I was sitting with my best friend out on the curb. I was shaking physically. I felt so sick and all my insides felt like they were twisted up in a big knot. I had completely lost my appetite over the last few weeks and could not eat.”
Grand needn’t have worried. Since the release of All-American Boy, it’s received one and a half million views on YouTube, has been listed on Billboard 's Bubbling Under and his Facebook following has shot up to over 56,000 followers.
“I was so scared guys,” Grand admits now. “I had no idea what reaction my video would get … I was so scared that I would be shot down and that my life’s dream to tell this story in a beautiful way would have failed. I was scared I wouldn’t be able to pay off my credit-card debt from the video shoot, and not be able to pay rent and ultimately be evicted from my apartment. I was scared my parents would be ashamed of me. I was scared I would lose my jobs.”
Reaction to the 22-year-old’s video has been largely positive and, he insists to GSN, that “while the rising video hits and instant press attention [have] been great, he is most focused on the fans who connected with his song”.
One of Grand’s fans, Dan Williams – who is himself gay – posted on the song’s YouTube page, saying, “I have to say, for us teenage gays in the rural, conservative, out-of-the-way towns and villages, it’s videos like these, just these simple, pure, and genuine expressions of emotion, that keep us going. I’m the only gay male in my village of 600 people, and even if the song has a somewhat sad message, it still makes me feel like I’m not alone, and I can’t thank you […]”
Grand may well have caused a sensation this last couple of weeks but, as the Huffington Post highlights, he was “showing off his star quality” back in 2012 with his stripped-down version of Lil’ Wayne's “How To Love”.
And here he is performing live at The Joynt Chicago, on 7 July (a venue he returned to this past weekend):
Meanwhile, “All-American Boy” tells the painful story of a gay man’s unrequited love for his straight male friend. However, as reported by Gay Star News, Grand was interviewed on ABC’s Good Morning America, where he said that what was even more painful was trying to accept himself and be accepted by his parents. Close to tears, he admitted, “I felt like there was no way I would ever make them proud. I felt like I was a constant disappointment.”
According to QNews, Grand realized he was gay when he was 13. “He struggled to reconcile his sexuality with his Catholic upbringing [though] came out to friends while in the eighth grade,” QNews reports. “[However] after his parents learned of his sexuality, they enrolled him in ‘straight therapy’ for five years.”
Grand tells that he agreed to go into therapy, to see if he could be cured of his gayness. “I was so consumed by the voices I grew up hearing, like the voices of my parents telling me I need to change – and I was in straight therapy for five years,” he says.
However, he and his therapist “just ended up having a completely different perspective […] I’ve come to really believe that homosexuality is not a bad thing, or sinful, and not something that God wants you to rid yourself of.”
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