Convicted Gay Killers Marry; Indiana Boycotts; Steve Grand on Gay Singers In the Closet; Jane Litte/Jen Frederick Fallout

Convicted Gay Killers Marry

The first gay UK couple to marry while in prison, serving life sentences for murder, are Mikhail Gallatinov and Marc Goodwin.

According to The Independent, the newlyweds fell in love during the time they spent in prison.

The 20-minute ceremony was held in front of a few prisoners, family, and four invited officers.

You can see more here. It’s hard for me to comment because of the nature of their convictions, but straight couples do this all the time from what I hear.

Indiana Boycotts

This is a tough one for me because I was talking with a friend on Twitter the other day who lives in Indiana. She’s straight and she doesn’t discriminate against anyone. From what she told me, most people in Indiana don’t discriminate either and they are just as frustrated and angry as the rest of the country over what their Governor did.

But some kind of a statement has to be made, and if everyone pulls together and boycotts the entire state I’m hoping it will help the people who live there, too…eventually. I personally don’t have anything against anyone who lives in Indiana.

In any event, San Francisco…the entire city…is now boycotting Indiana:

Mayor Ed Lee (D) said on Thursday that he objects to Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act that allows businesses in the state to cite religious beliefs as a legal defense for businesses to refuse service to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.

Lee said in a statement that the city will not use taxpayer money to fund any city employees’ trips to the Midwestern state.

I also read on Twitter that the online company, Angie’s List, is boycotting Indiana as well.

You can read more here. 

Steve Grand on Gay Singers In the Closet

I didn’t know this one. There’s a country singer who came out as Josey Greenwell, and after about a year, he went back into the closet and changed his professional name to Nate Gree. He’s now trying to market himself and brand himself to straight audiences. I’m sure a lot of you are wondering why would he do that? How could he not come out during this wonderful time for gays?

The answer is simple. Even though gay marriage is legal in many places, and even though gay rights are moving forward, the discrimination still outweighs the support. I get it and see it every day. If it’s not outright discrimination it’s total dismissal.

Steve Grand:

‘It saddens me because I feel his decision to not be out and open in what appears to be actually in some ways going back into the closet professionally, I see it as a reflection on the sad state where people feel like they can’t be out,’ Grand tells The Daily Beast.

It is sad. I agree with Grand. However, it is a reality for anyone in any of the arts. Gay people not coming from a place of privilege don’t get the same opportunities straight people coming from places of privilege get.

‘I feel bad for him, that he for whatever reason doesn’t feel he can’t be welcomed as an artist and he’s branding himself as a country artist but he doesn’t feel like that he can make that part of his work.’
Grand’s approach has been completely different.

Again, I agree with Grand. I feel bad for him, too. But I also understand him and I don’t fault him for doing what he has to do to survive. I don’t think there’s a gay actor, singer, or even writer who hasn’t thought about this at one time or another.  

‘I think I wanted to be out because I felt it sets a good example,’ he says. ‘We need as many people out as possible. I felt comfortable doing that and I’m all about that for myself and I encourage other people to do the same.’

My biggest hope for Steve Grand is that he breaks the proverbial glass ceiling as an openly gay singer and he gets the support from the LGBT community he needs, as well as support from the mainstream. It’s still too soon to tell. Grand has a lot on his side, and I’m hoping his new album does very well. But to be completely honest, I’m waiting to see how things work out for him. I know all too well how they work out for gay authors. Ricky Martin is out now, but he wasn’t back when millions and millions were buying his albums. Martin is in a much better position than a young openly gay singer who wants to keep it real.

So go out and support Steve Grand. Buy his album. You’ll like it. And not just because he’s gay. He’s very good. 

Of Green he says: ‘I don’t know his story, what his journey’s been like, so I don’t want to make any judgement other than it’s a reflection of the world that he believes in and it’s a sad reflection for me.’

I think that’s a perfect way to put it. No one knows what his journey is like. But I do know what a gay journey is like in general. I have that experience now. And if you’re not straight, white and privileged, it’s not going to be an easy journey.

You can check out Grand’s statements here.  

Jane Litte/Jen Frederick Fallout

I put this at the bottom of the post because it feels so creepy posting about it I’d rather not focus on it for too long. I’m not sitting in judgement either. Most of you reading this right now know who Jane/Jen is and if you don’t there are plenty of links out there with a simple search for Jane Litte and Jen Frederick.

The more I read about this the more discouraging it gets. The good, innocent people who have been hurt by all this are what bother me the most. My heart just breaks for them.

I read this comment, in part, on a romance review blog:

Im hurt that I respected that line more than the person who drew it.

It will be days and weeks and months before we tease out all the implications of this. Trust is fragile. I’m hurt for many indie authors who were so gracious, so generous. Who welcome newbies with open arms and open their careers to share data, strategies, information… everything. I’m hurt that future newbies might not find those arms and doors so open.

You can read the rest of the comment here, plus there are others discussing the Jane/Jen disclosure. Frankly, I can’t say I’m hurt or surprised. It’s what I would have expected. Past is, indeed, prologue.

But my heart does go out to those who were hurt by this. I hope they can trust again. It’s not all bad. You only come across this kind of behavior once in a while in publishing. 

The Way We ALMOST Were

A Gay Parody  

Trevor Donovan as Kit Acklin; Steve Grand All American Boy Release Date March 24th; Morning After Glow

Trevor Donovan as Kit Acklin

I’ve been remiss with pop culture pieces lately…because there have been so many unusual things happening. But I’ve been meaning to post about this, and I will post a more in-depth piece soon for several reasons. One, I think my readers will enjoy it. Trevor Donovan played a gay character…Teddy…on Beverly Hills 90210 a few years ago and he stunned so many his fandom grew practically overnight. Two, the character Donovan is playing, Kit Acklin, is one of the most interesting in the old wild west. Three, I’ve been following Donovan in social media and I notice that a lot of m/m readers follow him, too. I think they’ll LOVE this new mini-series called Texas Rising.

The History Channel has had some major past success with period miniseries (Hatfield & McCoys) so they’re hitching their (covered) wagon to the lone star state. The network is currently filming Texas Rising, an eight-hour miniseries about the Texas revolution and the rise of the Texas Rangers (the oldest state law enforcement agency in North America.)

The project has an impressive cast, folks like Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chad Michael Murray, Ray Liotta, Oliver Martinez, Max Thieriot (from Bates Motel), but we’re most interested in Trevor Donovan‘s participation (Donovan has been a favorite with TheBacklot readers since his days as Teddy Montgomery on 90210.

You can read more about Texas Rising and Trevor Donovan here. And I will post something more detailed, with photos…yes, I have permission to use photos…very soon. Of course the focus is on Donovan and the show in general, but I’m trying to find links about Kit Acklin and I’m learning that what’s there is excellent, but there’s really not much out there in general about the old wild west.

Mark your calendars. Texas Rising will be launched on Memorial Day weekend this May 25th. 

Steve Grand Album Release Date

These days there seems to be an interesting trend with anything LGBT related. The mainstream press will pick up on something gay trendy and beat it to death until they’ve had their fun and all the straight people have been entertained. They usually don’t follow up. And in this case I’ve been seeing this trend with the new release of LGBT singer Steve Grand’s album, All American Boy. I haven’t seen much support from the mainstream…yet.

SO, let’s give the guy a break and start sharing this news. This is significant to LGBT culture as well as pop culture. And while the straight people and James Franco continue to exploit and appropriate us, the least we can do is help each other out when something important comes along.

I think everyone reading this post knows about Steve Grand by now. If you don’t you can find out more with a simple search. His new album, All American Boy, is going to be released tomorrow…March 24th…and he’s been working hard to promote this for the past few weeks all over social media.

Steve kicks off his debut album, All American Boy, set to be released on March 24. The album includes the hit singles All American Boy, Stay, Back To California and Time. Steve’s KickStarter campaign used to fund the album was the 3rd most successful fundraiser on the website ever.

There’s more here at Grand’s web site. I’ll be buying this one on iTunes, and I hope everyone else who is buying it helps spread the word about it.

Morning After Glow

This is the type of pop culture piece I personally love. It’s a new photo shoot by photographer Paul Dedona and it captures some of the most interesting moments you’ll ever see.

It makes sense that the photo shoot has a “morning after” feeling. Petit Q’s underwear designs are all about sex appeal, like good luck charms if you want to get lucky. The underwear modeled by Andrei ranges from the flattering to the deviously distracting. The Bondage Bikini and Majax Boxer both offer full-coverage designs, technically. They leave the back and front covered, but your sides and legs are emphasized by sexy straps.

Whether or not the pair is masculine or feminine doesn’t matter. Like we said, Paul Dedona captures Andrei’s confidence. It lets Andrei pull off every Petit Q design thrown his way.

There’s more here, where you can see the photos.  

The Way We ALMOST Were

A Gay Parody  



Steve Grand Slammed; Ben Cohen Strips for Gays

Steve Grand Slammed

Last summer when country/pop singer, Steve Grand, released  a music video I posted about him here. At the time he was so fresh there wasn’t much I could find about him anywhere. But the one thing that did stand out about his song was the fact that it was all about a young gay man falling in love with a straight men, and how the young gay man winds up with a broken heart.

With the blog hop for equal rights this weekend I thought it would be appropriate to post something about gay country music star, Steve Grand, because he’s making history, promoting equal rights, and breaking the stereotypes at the same time. I saw one post earlier today that linked to a Steve Grand post with a less than thrilling comment thread…pure garbage and filled with the kind of snark I don’t tolerate anymore.

Since I wrote that post, Grand has continued to make history and break stereotypes, which isn’t easy to do if you are gay because the same old sterotypes that have been following gay men around forever don’t seem to go away. And even worse, people who claim to support gay men often seem to be the same people who crave those sterotypes. Because Steve Grand didn’t just get heat from the comment thread I mentioned in the excerpt from the post above. He also got slammed for writing a song where a young gay man falls in love with a young straight man. Some seem to think Grand should have made the gay man fall in love with another gay man.

Here’s a quote where Steve Grand responded to all this:

‘Because this was my experience growing up. Many times,’ Grand says. ‘I grew up in a predominantly heterosexual world. Most of the crushes I had were straight men. Gay men were not visible. I wanted to tell a story that had been burning inside me.’

‘It’s a universal human story – unrequited love. Gay or straight, we’ve all been there. When I started writing music, I was always writing about that. I was always crushing on someone I couldn’t be with.’

I’d like to know what’s so difficult to understand about that? Grand isn’t writing an m/m romance. He’s writing about his own life experience and it’s coming from his heart, from his experience as a gay man. This isn’t fantasy with HEA. This is reality. And because most gay men…me included…grew up in heteronormative worlds, our first crushes were directed toward straight men. And I think the most important thing to understand here is that Steve Grand, as the gay man, gets the last word about what it’s like to be gay growing up in a straight world.

If all gay men had a normal puberty and they dated other gay men as YAs, I wouldn’t even be writing this post. But the fact remains that gay men don’t get a puberty like straight men and they usually wind up in impossible situations where unrequited love is inevitable.

You can read more here. The piece goes into more detail about what Steve Grand was like growing up.

Ben Cohen Strips for Gays

Speaking of breaking stereotypes and unrequited love, British rugby player and gay activist, Ben Cohen, is coming out with a new calendar where all proceeds will benefit his foundation that focuses on stopping homophobia and bullying in schools. And according the photos on this web site to which I’m linking, he’s going to raise a great deal of money and awareness. There’s a video, too.

This time he has invited us for a sneak peak into the shower and the locker room for a behind-the-scenes look.
Although Cohen is the perfect example of so many gay male fantasies, he is straight and he’s comfortable with his status as a gay icon, so to speak. This also makes sense to me. He’s a man. Gay men like men. And guess what, gay men like showers and locker rooms. I probably shouldn’t have let that secret out of the proverbial bag, but there you are.
Cohen created The Ben Cohen Stand Up Foundation to Stop Homophobia and Bullying. You can check out the foundation’s web site here. It’s really a steller web site and I highly suggest looking at it.
In this article he talks about being on the reality TV show, Strictly Come Dancing, and states that he would be open to dancing with a man on TV. The reason I find that interesting is because I often watch the US show, Dancing with the Stars, and I always wonder why there are never two male contestants dancing in the competition. Too much for liberal left wing Hollywood to handle?
In any event, Cohen said this, in public: 
“I’ve no qualms dancing with a woman or a man,” Cohen is quoted by the Mirror as saying. “Kristina [Rihanoff] will be easier to pick up though.”

I’ve always wanted to learn how to dance.

Shower image above can be found here.  The copyright holder of this file allows anyone to use it for any purpose, provided that the copyright holder is properly attributed. Redistribution, derivative work, commercial use, and all other use is permitted.

Gay Country Music Star Steve Grand

Gay Country Music Star Steve Grand

With the blog hop for equal rights this weekend I thought it would be appropriate to post something about gay country music star, Steve Grand, because he’s making history, promoting equal rights, and breaking the stereotypes at the same time. I saw one post earlier today that linked to a Steve Grand post with a less than thrilling comment thread…pure garbage and filled with the kind of snark I don’t tolerate anymore. But I did a simple search and found an article about Steve Grand, with this following excellent comment as well.

RYOT NOTE: We are so proud of our country as it continues to move towards equality and empowerment. The rights of the LGBTQ community are human rights and musicians like Steve Grand continue to keep that discussion on the table. The Human Rights Campaign is committed to doing the same. They believe in the day when all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, can feel comfortable in their homes, schools and workplaces.

You can read more here. 

The most interesting thing to note about Steve Grand is that so far from what I’ve read he doesn’t have a record label or a manager and he’s doing this alone like many of the LGBT indie authors I know in publishing. He wrote and produced a country song, All American Boy, and here’s what it’s about:

His new video about unrequited love for another man is moving, powerful and tender. The video is also brave and ground-breaking. Evidently it is based on a real life incident in Grand’s life. The video gives us a classic country western theme with a slight twist.

There are links to the video on both of the sites to which I just linked. I’ve seen it and I love it. I don’t think there are many gay men alive who can’t relate to the same brand of unrequited love. I’ve often posted about the fact that I am not a huge fan of Polkas, Broadway music, or torch songs. And I have mentioned that I do like/love rap music. But I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned how much I enjoy country music, especially since country went through such a huge transition in the 1990’s. Trust me on this, I’ve left the suds in the bucket and the clothes hangin out on the line many times!!

This is his facebook page. Although there aren’t many likes yet, at least not compared to other CW stars, I did see a few familiar faces from the mm romance community. You might want to go there and support him.

This is from bandcamp.

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