“I would die a happy man today.” Those are the words of Steve Grand, and why? Well, for many reasons, but one of them has to do with the fact that this musician who lacks a record label has gotten a lot of attention for his first music video. The video goes to the country-tinged rock ballad “All-American Boy”:
The video started to get a lot of hits going over the 400,000 total views in one night. The video itself cost just $7000 and was entirely funded by Grand’s own credit card.
According to the news report:
“All-American Boy” portrays a young gay man who misreads signals from an apparently straight “all-American” male friend. On a day hanging out with the gang, the two guys and a girl take off in a car. She drives, as the guys sit together in the back, with the straight man, at one point, falling asleep on the gay man’s shoulder. Feeling like a third wheel, the girl eventually, angrily drives off, leaving the two men to pal around in the woods, where they end up stripping down and going skinny-dipping — even sharing a quick kiss. Ultimately for the straight guy, it was just all in good fun. But for the gay man, it was something much more significant, and he is left dazed, confused and longing.
It is rather autobiographical. Grand notes that “I was a 13-year-old boy (at camp). One of my counselors was warm and strong and he took an interest in me __ not sexually, but as a friend, and it really moved me. I remember leaving with a horrible ache in my heart.”
Still, even though this is a song told from the gay man’s perspective, Grand felt that the tale of unrequited love would resonate regardless of sexuality. Grand said “I’m not a cryer. But since this all began, since people have been reaching out, I’ve been beyond moved, because so many people have felt what I felt, been through what I’ve been through.”
Grand is a survivor of ex-gay therapy. He started coming out when he was in eighth grade to his friends. His parents eventually found out and he was sent to ex-gay therapy for five years, but it did not work.
Still, Grand is happy despite his economic woes. He has had to hold several jobs to try and just survive. He said that he is happy just because of “the hundreds of people who have said, ‘Your story is my story. Thank you for this,’ is enough for me. Like I said, I would die a happy man today, and it’s the first time in my entire life I can say that.”