July 9, 2013

Chicago native Steve Grand, 23, is gaining attention this week for his country song, “All-American Boy,” about a gay man’s unrequited love for a straight man. Having gained over 400,000 views in less than a week, Grand is being hailed as the first openly gay male singer of the genre.

Grand, who was made to go to “straight therapy” for five years, says the song is based on personal experiences. From the AP:

“I was a 13-year-old boy (at camp),” noted the 23-year-old singer-songwriter, speaking by phone 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.”