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Thursday, July 25, 2013

On the first 25 comments to the Boy Culture Blog article

From my email/journal to myself

My email/journal thoughts regarding the first 25 comments that were there when I began to read the Boy Culture Blog article on Steve Grand.  And Steve's answer to the key question I have been asking. 

First, some points about what the commenters have said:  (When there were 25 comments)  (Since the article seemed so long, I first read through the comments to see how people were reacting to it)

·         I think Charles and also Arthur V say it just right about Bilerico Project.  From researching Bilerico’s editor, John, Berger, I see some similarities to Kevin Griffin’s approach.

·         I see you can’t reply directly to a comment here. 

·         I disagree with Bobby

o   He is being judged left and right and when you gave him the chance to do a little judging on his own, he did just as I thought he would: He didn't judge. That shows a level of maturity even the most advanced artist does not have and that says a lot about him...and how he was raised.

·         How is Steve being judged left and right when I am the only one commenting on his Facebook page with suggestions for how he can be more honest?  I don’t agree with this next part either.

o   And then when he is given a chance to say something bad about his straight-therapy therapist and, again, he didn't. He respects the guy and while he doesn't agree with straight therapy, he knows what he should and shouldn't say. This is a guy who knows where he has been and where he is now and doesn't seem to hold any anger for what he has been thru. What a forgiving heart he has! That is very mature and responsible of him and, most of all, respectable of him. I should learn how to do this from him.

·         Yes, good that Steve didn’t bash his counselor.  However, I do think that Steve does know what he should and shouldn’t sayI’m asking, what’s in this for Nick?  Steve doesn’t trash his counselor because the counselor using a straight therapy approach helped him so much, because it wasn’t just about having him shift his attractions – that’s why he liked it.  And he wasn’t able to communicate with his parents.  I would also disagree again here.

o   No preacher or anyone could convince me (for long) that God hated me for being gay. I always came around to the fact that God could not hate something He created.

·         Steve isn’t understanding or explaining the difference of two approaches.  1.) God loving you where you are but not wanting you to stay where you are, and 2.) God loving you and wanting you to stay the same.  He has to use the term, “God hated me,” I think, because it is hard for him to comprehend that God loved him with his same-sex sexual attractions, but then (from his parish’s perspective), was asking him to be chaste about them or to see if enough shift could happen for him to be in a heterosexual relationship, likely as a bisexual person in terms of sexual attraction.  And he isn’t defining whether gay is about attractions only or about attractions and behavior.  There we have come across that other pesky word, gay.  Just like the pesky word, straight….  Hard to communicate what we mean when we use them.  And then consider this:

o   Also, even if he does sometimes feel uncomfortable, he understands how important it is for him to be there in the church as a role-model for any kid struggling with his own identity.

·         It appears that Steve now wants to be the only type of perspective that would be available to young people there.  He wants that perspective to only be a gay affirming perspective.  For any kid, he says, who is struggling with his own identity.  That’s just as bad as what folks are accusing the straight therapy approach of doing, not offering options.  If there is a spiritual input into our life, then we would expect some influence from that input.   

I don’t see that Steve was lonely and awkward because of his sexuality.  Hummm, I remember the movie, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.  I liked that movie.

·         Not all kids seek suicide or are depressed over not having the freedom to be affirming of a gay identity.  He is placing his own experience into the experiences of others.  As this commenter talks about how our own fucked-up minds, he says…  I think he is beginning to get to the deeper point. 

·         I think that this commenter is mistaken about Steve’s parents.  It was their way of parenting when combined with Steve’s personality and predispositions that ended up negatively impacting him.  Parenting is tough and especially so for the child that is more reserved.  Yes, Steve today portrays these qualities of responsibility but that was because he was so restricted by their parenting style, that he embraced being respectful of parents, maybe to a fault.  I think Steve’s deception about Nick is an example of him still being unwilling or unable yet to be more clear.  His parent’s approach could have influenced this need to compartmentalize.   

·         So, this commenter, Bobby F, says he writes a lot about Steve on Facebook, but on his page or on Steve’s? 

·         I didn’t know Ellen had a music label, but I know she is supportive of gay artists.

·         The first hotlinked commenter here is…  ErrosDelcast. 

·         Yup, here comes Kevin Griffin bitching.  If I share my thoughts here, I might sound to them like I am bitching…  Kevin’s comment was posted on July 22nd at 7:48pm.  Today is the 23rd

·         Ah, the writer, Matt, really goes after Kevin Griffin.  Wow.  But, I don’t think that Matt is getting Kevin’s point either. 

·         The commenter, Jeff, is talking about Steve’s honesty…..  I think that Steve can feel somewhat harmed if he does address what I think is his own deception about Nick, but it he does, I think it will be, being more honest.  We’ll see what Steve says in the interview article.   

·         Here is my concern, where GaryB says
o   Matt, The interview is awesome. I've read, and watched, others and have been taken with his thoughtful and articulate musings. But you have reached deep and brought out much more. Steve is a pivotal person. He's a role model for gay youth, an icon for the new gay male, even though he probably can't imagine that yet. It will be interesting to discover (as he himself is discovering) what happens next. BTW, your candid photo of him looking up in the hotel lobby is one of the best yet. It reveals the spontaneity and intensity about him that gets people so excited.
·         What is Steve’s idea about the new gay male, the new All-America Boy, about who Nick is?  I wonder if these guys would take offense by hearing my perspective?  This had been posted at 5:17pm tonight.  So, I would be commenting pretty recent after this. 

·         If this commenter, Glenn I, really does believe gay people, (as he calls people who experience some level of same-sex sexual attractions), in general are more accepting and ready to be compassionate, then would he be willing to consider my concerns?   

So, before I post anything, I need to learn more about this Boy Culture Blog.   

·         Boy Culture was born on November 6, 2005, out of a desire to say something mean about a pushy journalist its founder, editor and author Matthew Rettenmund, had encountered at a Blondie concert. Since then, Boy Culture has grown to become an influential blog covering celebrity, gay issues, music, film, theater, beautiful men, humor and politics. - See more here.

o   Okay, started about 8 years ago

o   He, Matt, is calling it an influential blog

o   Covering lots of things; it seems gay themed, going by the ads.

o   So Matt wrote a novel.

o   Nick Hornby says Matt has a sharp eye, writes with careful, knowing prose; is a fresh voice.

o   Matt got a film made from his book.

o   He also wrote other books.

o   He was the founder of Popstar, a teen-entertainment magazine.  He edited it for nearly 14 years. 

o   Good, he invites me to email him. 

o   Are all of these categories in the archives things he has written on?

o   All the ads are gay themed ads.

o   So, Matt has the picture of Steve holding the flag up behind him, highlighting his biceps here as the end of the link: subscribe link.

This is Matt:


o   Interests: Madonna, pop culture, sex, photography, politics

·         Matt and Steve:

Quickly scanning through the interview article, it sounds like Matt will invite Steve to address why he selected Nick.  Here is that section:

BC: Did you know Nicholas Alan, the guy who played your love interest in the video, before the shoot? You have to have chemistry, which is hard to fake, and you definitely have it with him in the video. How did you cast that?

SG: I met Nick kind of by accident when I was in Miami, actually. This was a couple years ago. He was with a girl and I was with my friend and we really hit it off and I just knew in that moment, “I need to use him for one of my videos to tell this story.” Nick just so perfectly embodied the story I was trying to tell and was just that guy, I just felt like he was so perfect. I’m a very intuitive person, and there was no question who I would’ve used to make that video—it was Nick. Everything had to be my way [laughs] because  he just was right and I knew it in my gut.

However, let’s go through it carefully:

·         He met Nick kind of by accident – actually….  In Miami  (okay, there is more to this story…)

·         It was only 1.5 years ago according to Nick

·         He was with a girl (but that’s not telling the whole story – the girl could have been one of Nick’s female model friends or even a female porn actress friend, given Nicks work under the stage name of Taylor).  I learned a lot about DocTayTay by reading through his Twitter page and the Facebook page for him as his real name of Nicholas Alan.  Just from an investigative reporting standpoint, the information there makes me wonder the following…

·         Was Steve’s friend there a man?  He doesn’t say specifically. 

·         They really hit it off, Steve says.  I postulate that this is because this is the type of man Steve has always wanted as his role model.

·         So, Steve says he knew right then, as Nick (as DocTayTay) states, that he knew that Steve wanted him right then for Steve’s AAB. 

·         I’m not buying this, at least not yet.  That Nick so embodied the story that Steve is trying to tell, that Steve knew he found Mr. Right for a music video to tell his story.  Steve is not telling a story about being drawn to a gay-for-pay straight or straight acting, man, in his video.  Or at least it doesn’t appear that he wants people to know that he is…

·         But what does Steve mean by just that guy?  That only that particular guy will do. 

·         Steve says he thought Nick was so perfect.  What is this really about and how does it fit into the story that he is suggesting that he is telling in this video?

·         What is it about Steve’s intuitive nature that he wanted only Nick to portray this part in his video? 

·         What does Steve mean by saying, “everything had to be my way.  Because he was just right, and I knew it in my heart”?

My point is that Steve still is not addressing the relational issue going on here.  Is Steve portraying in the video, that Nick is the type of straight man who is liberated enough that he will do gay porn?  No.  At least not to the casual observer of the video.  Steve is portraying a man who isn’t uncomfortable with Steve making a pass at him.  And Steve is at least strongly suggesting that it is only because Nick is a straight male, not also factoring in that Nick also does gay porn, as to Nick’s willingness to not reject Steve because of Steve’s kiss.  What part is acting, what part is real life?  The story gets blurred.   

Okay, next, to work through the entire interview article, beginning at the top.