A rock musician from the US has released a song and music video featuring a gay storyline, which has since gone viral with almost half a million YouTube views.
Steve Grand posted the song All American Boy, which features a narrative inspired by his one of his own experiences.
The song and video portrays a gay man who misreads signals from a straight friend. The two go away together for the day with a female friend, who leaves them together in the woods where they strip down and share a kiss.
Grand said: “I was a 13-year-old boy [at camp],” said the 23-year-old, speaking to Times Standard from his hometown Chicago. “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.”
The video cost just $7,000 (£4,500), which Grand payed himself on a credit card. It has now been viewed over 400,000 times on YouTube.
Grand said he was touched by messages of appreciation sent via social media, and he said that he knew that, despite the story being told from the gay man’s perspective, it would resonate with people of all sexualities.
“I’m not a cryer,” he said. “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 was sent to “gay conversion” therapy by his parents when they discovered he was gay when he was in eighth grade.
Following the internet success of this single, Grand said he did not know where it would take him, and that he was “more of a songwriter” than a singer, but that he could “die a happy man” after having spoken to people through his music.