The history of homosexuality in country music stretches a long way back - according to The Week, all the way back in 1939 a song called 'Lavender Cowboy' by Vernon Dalhart was banned from the radio - but not too many contemporary country singers are out of the closet.
Well, Steve Grand just became one of them. The singer released the single 'All-American Boy' this week, along with the Facebook message "after all these years... this is my song. my story. my dream."
The song and video tell the story of a man who falls in love with his heterosexual friend, who doesn't reciprocate his feelings.
Grand says he decided to make the video and come out publicly after years of internal debate:
"I fought with who I was for most of my life. In every way a young person can fight with himself. But starting today... I'm laying it out there. I'm done playing it safe."
A publicity shot of Grand (Photo: Buzzfeed/Steve Grand)
This is Grand's first release - he's not on a label yet, but country websites like Nashville Gab are suggesting that could change soon: "Looks like someone better snatch Steve up and give him a record deal because there appears to be a whole segment of the country-listening population who is wanting a role model (and poster boy) all their own."
Since he uploaded the video a couple of days ago, it's received over 200,000 hits, and a lot of positive comments.
On his Facebook page, Grand wrote "guys I am so overwhelmed right now I don't even know what to say... reading your comments and messages about how this song/video has brought back memories or tugged at something inside of you has moved me deeply."
Grand is not the first contemporary country artist to come out. Back in 2010, country star Chely Wright came out as a lesbian on the cover of People magazine. She spoke to CBC Radio about the experience, and how her life has changed, earlier this year.
And in May, Wright and her wife welcomed identical twins.