Steve Grand on Being Gay, Catholic, and Proud

Stay_grand

While many people already know Steve Grand by the title "first openly gay male country singer" (in truth a misnomer), few are aware that Grand's Catholic upbringing and faith remain essential parts of his identity and image. A member of a tight-knit Catholic church in the Chicago suburbs, Grand maintains in an interview with The Huffington Post that his close relationship with the Catholic community is 100% compatible with his life as a gay man in the media spotlight.

Grand said he has been both surprised and moved by the reactions to his first video. Fans have declared him a "hero," while critics have accused him of betraying the gay rights movement – both by expressing support for the Catholic Church and by refusing to condemn the Christian therapist he was sent to by his parents to be "cured" of his homosexuality.

"A lot of people have criticized me for playing at Catholic churches, where I made a lot of money, and I was shocked by that," Grand said. "In my mind, I think it could only be a good thing. Ten years ago, I was sitting in those same pews, and if I'd seen an openly gay musician leading the songs of worship in church, that could have really changed my life and saved me many years of feeling that I was somehow wrong."

It what may seem like a surprise to many, Grand's church has been nothing but supportive of him, his identity, and his career. Grand received a standing ovation from his church last month when he stood in front of the congregation and said, "You know, I'm gay. And I think that's okay and I really believe that God loves us for who we are, gay or straight."

Father Kurt Boras, the priest at the church, holds Grand up as a model Catholic and says Grand's visibility has sparked new discussions and dialogue within his congregation about faith and sexuality.

"I've never seen this before. It's opened up conversations with me that are unbelievable, really" he said. "A lot of folks have come to me and said, 'I have a gay daughter, a gay son.' This young man has really opened up some conversations that maybe I would never have had as a pastor and they're coming and saying, 'Can we talk to you?'"

You can check out Grand's newest video, "Stay" right HERE.

Comments

  1. Ben says

    Madonna made a lot of money off the Catholic Church too. How weird. These trite little life stories inspire what? If you have to swallow that He’s gay, He’s also Catholic….and who knows what else? If he looked like George Zimmerman, I wouldn’t be featured here.

  2. Geoff says

    Look, I’m a realist. I dwell in the land of ‘reason’ (mostly), however – there are others who don’t. That’s fine, as long as they don’t get all evangelical. Live and let live.
    Hate to be Pollyanna about it, but though there may be fundamental disagreement… Respect each other.

  3. mike/ says

    i worked near that suburb & had close friends from there. it must have really made a great change – very, very conservative, borderline redneck. there was always a ‘discussion’ as to if there were more bars or more churches in it. there were even 2 Catholic Churches directly across the street from each other! and it was a small town.

    oh, yeah! There were more bars & they defeated the Sunday ‘blue law’…

  4. Francis #1 says

    It’s a nice story. This cute gay singer, Steve Grand, now with a moderate level of fame, his success and character has made people in his community proud and made them at the very least acknowledge gay people exist, in their families and communities, if not reexamine their biases. That’s a big deal and again proves the power of coming out cannot be understated.

  5. Dave C. says

    Thanks for the article and link. Unlike some, I do like seeing attractive young men. How he balances being a part of The Church and being Gay is an interesting question. As for the bitchy comments, they always come. Some just to get a reaction, some need to re-enforce their negative world view. Life has enough suffering. I believe that celebrating the joy and aliveness in no way denies what is wrong and needs fixing. Thanks again for the article

  6. Andifle says

    Wow. This “pretty boy” is so much wiser than the bitchy commenters on this thread. He’s courageous and attractive in way more than the physical, speaks intelligently and humanely, and he knows that you catch a lot more flies with honey than vinegar. He’s obviously going places with his career, and he’ll likely do both himself and gays as a whole a lot of good, while you wallow, alone, in your bitterness.

  7. Moz's says

    sorry can’t be catholic and happily gay unless your delusional

    the catechism considers gay sex as a mortal sin = not able to get to confession afterward and die then go to hell no ifs ands or butts for mortal sins. Unless one wishes to confess and repent and dies before confession then possible “god” forgives one for the intent to confess

    can only be celibate gay and catholic not in mortal sin = straight to hell

    so nope, sorry the kid is either delusional and or too weak to break away from the church completly

  8. Bob says

    Steve Grand is great but he won’t be commercially successful, I’m afraid. Women won’t buy his music. Women find male homosexuality threatening because it represents rejection of women. It also represents male superiority over women.

  9. Mikey says

    Good God, the negativity. I can be Irish Catholic *and* gay, and not a single person can tell me I can’t be. Some of you should take a look at yourselves before telling others how they ought to feel about themselves.

  10. Pookie says

    Bob, go see a therapist about those mommy issues !

    Steve Grand is the face of the future. Some of the comments here show why it’s taken so long – people among us have so much tied to ideas of what it means to be gay, and what it doesn’t, they just can’t stand it when someone refuses to conform to a gay ideology of despair and accepted victimhood.

    This generation, it’s having nothing to do with that mess. And that’s a GOOD thing.

    When we first started getting married, some of the loudest bitching was from gay guys, including many activists, that just couldn’t understand why the old gay identity had to die it’s deservedly ugly death, and berated gays for getting married, or even wanting to be monogamous.

    It was wrong and stifling back then, and it’s still wrong now.

    You’re free to be self limiting and crippled, Steve Grand and his generation and the ones to come aren’t going to be the sad little gay clowns sitting int he bars and ghettos anymore.

  11. David From Canada says

    Steve Grand is a great guy and I’m glad to see that he’s still practising his faith and a belief in a Higher Power. He’s a good role model for young church-going gays, and it is these people who will make important changes in religion in the future.
    I’m so glad that he didn’t go the atheist route and become angry and bitter and filled with hate. The militant atheists at Joe My God are probably frothing at the mouth at this revelation.
    Good for Steve, and to the atheists, go take your Communist-like propaganda somewhere else.
    Steve Grand, YES!!

  12. bkmn says

    First and foremost I have issues with anyone that blindly follows and professes for the Catholic religion.

    Any group or religion that has actively worked to protect pedophiles the way the Catholic church has while maintaining a tax exempt status and a strong anti-gay position should be subject to enhanced public and judicial scrutiny.

  13. Moz's says

    Mikey

    the church says you can not be sexualy active

    PERIOD. A true catholic must accept the pope as the succesor of Peter with the keys to bind up things in heave and on earth = the catechism is the law of the church and PERIOD dude you can not be sexualy active gay

    It is mortal sin, accepting the eucharist while in mortal sin of gay sex is itself another mortal sin per the catechism

    sorry dude, raised catholic here and the catechism is the law of the “Holy Mother Church” which you must accept as a practicing catholic

    it is impossible to be a sexually active gay person and a good catholic not in mortal sin damned to hell

    1 or the other must break, your belief in the church and xtianity or your sanity

  14. says

    okay… NOW I GET IT. Whew, that took long enough.

    The whole time Steve Grand came onto the scene I kept saying it’s all too… polished. It’s disingenuous and a LOT of money is being spent for it to be “out of pocket”. I feel like I’m being marketed to but he’s not making any money, or selling me anything, so what is he marketing??

    Now it all makes sense. He’s marketing religion for gays. It’s a very cool ploy… and it’s an excellent way for Catholics to get back into the gay community’s good graces, especially after the last Pope.

    I love it when it all clicks.

    I love it more when I’m right. LOL.

  15. peterparker says

    I can’t imagine the mental gymnastics that gay Catholics have to go through to convince themselves that they are okay just the way they are despite the fact that the hierarchy of their particular sect of Christianity denounces them as sinners. Must be exhausting.

  16. bravo says

    Any gay man can be Roman Catholic. He just cannot have sex. The church cannot be any more clear than it has been: any type of sexual activity outside of marriage is a mortal sin. And man-man or woman-woman sex is particularly heinous as they are acts which can never result in reproduction.

    There is no news here. As long as Steve Grand is an abstinent gay man, he can happily be a Roman Catholic.

    There are, however, many Christian churches where gay men and lesbians can be sexually active and their acts are not considered sins.

  17. Gregory in Seattle says

    Some people are natural quislings and have no problem claiming devout membership in an organization that, as a matter of official policy, wants them dead.

    It’s pretty sad, really.

  18. Just sayin says

    OMG, really, you dips posting all the Catholic hate crap need to grow up and come up out of your mom’s basements.

    You don’t know ANYTHING about Catholics, you’re just bitter little bitchy wanna be atheist fags that have zero influence and impact.

    You’re no better than the Westboro Baptists. You’re stupid, and you’re liars.

  19. alex says

    Whether people on here acknowledge it or not, it’s possible for Catholism to change. For example, before 1970, Mass was only presented in Latin. Of course, it will be decades before LGB people will be welcomed without qualifications into the Catholic Church. But, change happens.

    It is certainly possible that one small suburban Chicago Catholic Church is okay with having gay members. Just as all gay people don’t alike, neither to all Catholics.

  20. Marc says

    If he’s awakening minds and starting discussions that never would have happened before, he’s making a positive contribution to our cause. Some of us choose to leave our closed-minded environments and surround ourselves with those who support us. And some of us choose to stay in our closed-minded environments and try to make a change. I see the value in both of these options. Bravo, Steve. I couldn’t do it, but I’m glad there are those like you who can.

  21. says

    This is 2013.
    And this priest is quoted as saying that:
    “It’s opened up conversations with me that are unbelievable, really….”
    Seriously ?
    Only now a conversation is opening ?

    I agree with Moz above. Practicing homosexuals are excommunicated; they must not receive communion. If do they are committing Mortal Sin…….
    Furthermore the Catholic Catechism expressly states that homosexuals are ” intrinsically defective”…..it states that we cannot love in a full sense……..meaning procreate.

    We need to be clear on what the Catholic Church holds. It’s doctrines are not fuzzy-wuzzy…..practicing homosexuals are in a state of Mortal Sin……..continuing to receive Communion compounds that sin.

  22. says

    @ ALEX :
    Yeah, the Catholic Church can change alright !

    A few years ago the Church held as doctrine that un-baptized babies who died could not enter heaven….they went to a place called ‘Limbo”……..because such babies had Original Sin and could not enter heaven in that state.
    This so called doctrine had the effect of breaking many believing mother’ hearts….

    The the Church decided that there was no such place as ‘Limbo’ after all.
    In other words the Church had made it all up……there was no basis in scripture whatsoever for such invention.
    Similarly with many of their so called ‘doctrines’,examples papal infallibility, the Nine Choirs of Angels……

    This is all the medieval imagination in overdrive.
    That’s why I’m incensed when I hear this priest is talking about ‘opening a conversation'; where has he and his ilk been for the last two thousand years …….it’s too late for conversation…….the Church is guilty of deceit and exploitation of the masses over centuries…..especially the poor.

    That’s why the Church loved the Franciscan Order, with their message of ‘holy poverty’…… it kept down the low-lifes while the Church amassed its wealth.

    Yeah, sure the Church can change……how about selling all that it has and following Jesus ? That would be a good change.

  23. Jack M says

    Mikey, you are absolutely right. There are many gay Catholics and they have a lot of support from their fellow straight gay parishoners and even Catholic priests. Just because the “official” proclamations of the Church say it’s wrong, doesn’t mean that practicing Catholics walk in lockstep behind it. The Church must change or die.

  24. MaryM says

    He’s a complete idiot.

    He is defending a church which hates him.

    Why does he not simply find a church which accepts him unconditionally.

    If there is only 1 ‘god’ (well actually there is no ‘god’ but let’s pretend there is for arguement’s sake) then it does not matter which cult you are a member of – simply find a less disgusting one than the Church of Child-Rape (AKA the catholic church)

  25. Ian says

    The mental gymnastics required to carry around all this hate towards established religion and still consider yourself a healthy and happy human being must be exhausting.

    As an agnostic, there’s one thing I’ll say about the Christians on this thread, they seem a lot less bitter and more comfortable.

  26. Gigi says

    There are a lot of Debbie Downers here today.
    Oh wait, it’s towleroad. As per.

    If Steve Grand has been accepted by his church and he finds comfort in their community I say good for him. It’s not like he’s a Matt Moore clone. He’s reached a point in his life where he’s happy [as can be expected] and his star is rising. What’s to criticize? I know many practicing Catholics who support gay people and same-sex marriage. The Pope is the head of their church but they don’t necessarily believe everything that comes out of his mouth. Not all people involved in an organized religion are out to get us…hence the overwhelming support the LGBT community has received over the past few years.

  27. Moz's says

    PS Alex

    doesn’t matter what 1 diocese does

    They will end up excomunicated if they don’t stop. Rome will crack down on them quick and the diocese must be in allegiance with the Bishop of rome or they are not catholic anymore

  28. says

    @ GIGI :

    Have you read anything ?

    No one is saying anything about what comes out of the pope’s mouth…….whether accepted or not.

    We are saying that the DOCTRINE of the Catholic Church states in its Catechism that gays are defective.
    Simple as that.
    If you want to support an organization which thinks you’re defective…….so be it.
    My standards are higher.
    They also state any homo who takes communion compounds his own Mortal sin of practicing in homosexuality.

  29. Mary Waterton says

    No such thing as a “gay Christian”. If you are living in this lifestyle, then God will send you straight to hell no matter what you call yourself. Repent or perish.

  30. Seattle Mike says

    Good for him. He’s presenting a positive role model to all those kids growing up gay in that church, and to all the straight kids who might otherwise end up bullying the gay kids.

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