YouTube musician Steve Grand’s recent music video “All-American Boy” went viral this week, capturing the unrequited love story between a gay man and his straight male friend. Told from the perspective of a gay male who receives mixed messages of attraction from his straight friend, the video’s message of heartache and rejection are relatable to all audience members no matter their sexual orientations.
In an interview with Philly.com, Grand shared his own experiences that inspired the lyrics for the video. “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,” stated Grand.
Grand first came out to his friends in eighth grade, and shortly after, was forced into “straight therapy” by his family — a punishment he endured for the next five years. Currently living in Chicago, Grand has tried to support his musical career by doing odd jobs from modeling to playing music at Catholic church events.
Since its upload onto YouTube, the “All-American Boy” video has been viewed close to 450,000 times and has received hundreds of comments in support of Grand’s message. “I’m not a cryer,” commented Grand. “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.”
The video comes right on the heels of YouTube’s recent LGBT campaign #ProudtoLove, which showcased the talent and change prominent LGBT creators are making on YouTube. Grand is just one of many creators to put a gay twist on a traditional love story and follows in the footsteps of artist Philip Bonneau whose photo of a gay couple reenacting the iconic Spiderman kiss went viral last month.
Loved the song? Download Grand’s “All-American Boy” single here.
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