I recently discovered Steve Grand - an openly gay country music singer.
Truthfully, my first glimpse of Steve Grand was in a Huffington Post article: Steve Grand Goes Nude For The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I didn't know who he was; but, I enjoyed the eye candy picture of him standing, au naturel, next to lake superior. I'm not gonna lie - he is one good looking dude. But, I moved on ... or so I thought
His name came up again a few days later - he was touted as the first openly gay country music singer (a claim that is challenged by some). I like country music; so, I was intrigued. A link to his music video "All American Boy" came up my google search. I watched the video, a song about unrequited love between a gay boy and his straight best friend; and, it evoked feelings in me that I haven't experienced in a very long time.
My mind harkened way back (way way back) to high school when I had a crush on my best friend. I actually blogged about this a few years ago in a post titled My First Crush. I was especially moved by the scene in the car when his friend leaned his head on his shoulder as brought to mind my similar experience. Mind you, it would be many many years later before I identified as gay; so, at the time, the feelings I was experiencing were very confusing. I was a guy - I was supposed to be lusting after girls. So why did my heart skip a beat whenever he was around?
Fast forward back to the present. My high school days are a bygone era - to the point where they seem more like a dream than a memory. I'm 58 years old. I have a wife, 4 children, and 10 grand children - all of whom I love deeply. So why am I thinking about it now? Perhaps these feelings aren't buried as deeply as I thought they were.
As I learned more about Steve Grand, I read where his song has been criticized by some in the gay community for promoting the stereotype that all gay guys lust after their straight friends. I get that - I know, first hand, that is simply not true. But, it is also true that we seldom, if ever, pick who we are going to be attracted to. And yes, sometimes, perhaps even often, it is going to be someone who is out of our reach - someone who does not have the same feelings towards us. This is part of our human condition and spans all gender and sexual orientations.
While I have chosen to remain gay celibate - it is the right choice for me in my particular circumstance. But, that does not mean that I wish that fate on others. Gay love is beautiful. I rejoice when people I know find true love - and my heart breaks for those whose quest for true love is elusive and seems unattainable.
But ... back to Steve Grand. He is good looking (a former male model, I believe). He likes to show off his abs in his videos. I doubt he will ever become mainstream country. But, it is refreshing to see someone sing country songs about gay love.