Should Steve Grand Donate Profits From His Kickstarter Campaign To An LGBTQ Charity?

With 29 days left in his Kickstarter campaign, gay media darling Steve Grand has raised over $128,000 dollars to record his debut album, exceeding his goal by $47,000 and then some. People are donating with every second that I type, and while it’s quite remarkable that an openly gay artist is receiving so much attention, you’ve got to put things into perspective.

There is still extreme violence and intense hatred toward LGBTQ individuals in Uganda, Russia, India and various countries across the globe. An anti-gay discrimination bill was very nearly passed in Arizona. There is still no cure for HIV/AIDS, and it’s only continuing to spread. Thousands upon thousands of LGBTQ youth are dealing with homelessness, suicide, depression and the side-effects of living in a society that doesn’t fully accept them for who they are.

My feelings about Grand’s music aside, I find it particularly frustrating that the community can mobilize to make this ONE man’s dream come true, yet we virtually ignore causes that actually matter in the long run. If a pretty white boy with a six pack were hired to bring your attention to the alarmingly high suicide rate for transgender or gender-nonconforming individuals, would sites like Queerty suddenly rush to blog about it?

Look, I’m sorry to be a boner kill! I’m sorry to downplay all the hard work it may (or may not) have taken for Steve Grand to get where he is. I’m sorry that I’m a guy who’s been hired to talk about dicks and buttholes all day, so nobody’s going to give a fuck about my opinion when I suddenly decide to care about real issues… But, really, where is all this extra money going?

“Only a small amount of the $81,000 goal has been allocated for marketing and promotion. For the greatest impact, we’ll need to raise more!

“If we exceed the goal, the additional funds will be used to promote and market the record, so it can reach as many people as possible. Getting songs in rotation on radio is difficult and expensive, but with your help, we can make it happen!

“Rest assured, we have some of the very best independent music marketing people in the industry standing by to open doors and advise us on spending the money intelligently—once YOU make it possible!”

In other words, people are paying to make Steve Grand famous. People are paying to make Steve Grand famous when there are dozens of more talented LGBTQ men and women of color struggling to make their art, as the gay media outlets continue to turn their backs to their work. People are paying to make Steve Grand famous when there are other people selling their bodies on the street after being kicked out by their parents, because they have no other way to afford dinner. People are paying to make Steve Grand famous when an individual can spend LIFE IN JAIL for being gay in Uganda, a country where their president would rather murder them for their “crimes”. People are paying to make Steve Grand famous when there are religious groups promoting hatred in the name of their “freedom”.

This is the world we live in. Are you proud?

– Dewitt



57 thoughts on “Should Steve Grand Donate Profits From His Kickstarter Campaign To An LGBTQ Charity?

  1. Dewitt has ‘nailed it!’ The superficial succeed, while the sincere remain in need! Dewitt has a great heart–besides his raging hard. I love this man!

  2. No. He shouldn’t be pressured into donating profits from his kickstarter. He’s worked hard for what he has earned, and this is a “cause” that people have chosen to rally behind and support. Wouldn’t we all be upset if we donated to the United Way and they gave money to some anti-gay organization ? No. Use the money as it was intended for. Otherwise what is the point of striving for success if people tell you what you should do with you earnings….

  3. …then maybe its time we rally the straight stars to help raise awareness and have them stand in solidarity since the majority of their glam squads are made up of fantabulous lgbtq, including the numerous peppered all over marketing, advertising, decision makers, et al that are too…

  4. Steve should use the money to become as successful as possible because he is opening doors for the rest of the lgbt community. A year ago, who would have thought Larry King (TV guy) would publicly write a check to help a gay artist create music? Steve is the perfect poster boy to lead the charge.

  5. So since you don’t find him to be talented enough he shouldn’t pursue his career dreams however he can. And because people believe enough in him that they want to help fund his career those people are shallow. And in order to make this right Steve Grand should just throw all that away and give that money to charity? Wow. Is it scary up there on that pedestal, Dewitt.

    How do you know that the same people that have donated to his Kickstarter campaign haven’t also donated to those charities you are advocating? Have you thought that maybe by making him “famous” it might just help the gay cause? Seeing an openly gay artist succeed might give one of those youths of whom you speak some hope and keep them going another day. His “fame” might even change a mind or two about who we as gay people are.

    You obviously don’t like this artist for whatever reason, as every post you have ever done about him has been negative. You don’t like his music, I get that. You are absolutely entitled to that opinion. But that doesn’t mean others shouldn’t like his music and support him, nor should you make those people feel shallow for helping to make his dreams come true.

    I love you, Dewitt, but this seems way off base.

  6. Devil’s Advocate:

    A) No one needs to feel bullied into paying for someone else’s life to be better.

    B) Everyone has the chance to right any injustice in the world at large.

    C) This guy asked for X amount and got it. Why NOT donate at least SOME of that overage to causes in need… the causes that directly relate to him, or relate to his fan base (who supplied him with that extra funding), or just because it’s a humanitarian cause?

    I think a smart move would be to do just that, then increase your fan base by promoting yourself in THAT manner. “Hey, thanks fans! We exceeded our goal. I’ll be donating 50% of the excess to these causes and these charities. They’re benefiting because of you!”

  7. What a very broad and incorrect statement. I am sorry that you see the world that way. I know many sincere people who have succeeded. And those people share that success with those truly in need.

  8. “Steve should use the money to become as successful as possible because he is opening doors for the rest of the lgbt community.”

    How so?

  9. Dewitt,

    Why doesn’t Manhunt donate every single penny that goes over what Manhunt needs to cover the costs of equipment, employees, etc? IE Take all profit and donate it to help as “There is still extreme violence and intense hatred toward LGBTQ individuals in Uganda, Russia, India and various countries across the globe. An anti-gay discrimination bill was very nearly passed in Arizona. There is still no cure for HIV/AIDS, and it’s only continuing to spread. Thousands upon thousands of LGBTQ youth are dealing with homelessness, suicide, depression and the side-effects of living in a society that doesn’t fully accept them for who they are.”
    Who are you to say what to do with the extras or even call him out on it? What ever he does to do with the money, these people put it into his hands for whatever reason they did. Maybe it was because you put him up in photos in underwear? Maybe it was because of you promoting his song? Who knows.
    He didn’t call you out on the traffic that came to the site of Manhunt because of the promotion of him. Nor did he ask for any profits from using his photos and song for selling additional things that got bought like camera time, underwear, dildos, etc that you were plugging next to his photo.
    I know I should get off my high horse, but sometimes a devils advocate is needed.

  10. You are correct: many sincere out there–that is not my point. I agree with Dewitt about this ONE specific example OK?

  11. Manhunt does nothing but promote “pretty white boys with a six pack” and now all of a sudden it’s wrong for this site to do the same thing? The minute a non-white guy is featured, your readers rush to make judgements about how they don’t find guys of a certain race attractive b/c of their facial features and everyone rallies behind these readers and jumps to their defense when someone calls their comments racist. The gay community as a whole is extremely racist yet they expect sympathy when the same treatment is shown upon them. The same way a gay person cannot help whom they are attracted to, is no different than a person being unable to help the skin they are born into. Yet non-white guys are all that we see on this site with the occasional non-white guy being thrown in for good measure. Should people be subjected to imprisonment, torture, death and humiliation simply b/c of their sexual orientation, of course not. However, blacks, jews and others in society have been subjected to the same exact thing simply b/c of their religion and skin color. If Manhunt wants to make a stand, don’t use this guy as your reason for trying to justify it. He’s doing what he has to in order to make a name for himself and last time I checked, he wasn’t going around hurting or harming anyone to get where he needs to go. The fact that you picked this guy simply b/c of his look and skin color furthers my argument. This is definitely a case of the “pot calling the kettle black.”

  12. Isn’t Manhunt affiliated with right-wing political causes and candidates? I’d be a bit more concerned about that DeTwit, er Dewitt, than whether some 20-something, 6-packed singer raised more money on Kickstarter than he originally set out to do. Right!

  13. People donated money for him to spend on making and promoting a record. People did not give him money to then be diverted to LGBT causes. There are charities for that, and most of us probably donate to those as well.

  14. You’ve got to be kidding me. I am going to make an assumption, much like you just did. I am going to assume that you never made much of yourself and because of that you are a bitter douche bag. Now, if you will excuse me. This “superficial” successful man must get back to work!

  15. Wrong assumption! How many Olympic medals do you hold? When people lack real basis for debate, they resort to fiction (assumptions) and insults. Call me “a douche bag”–in you arrogant, groundless venting. You’re pathetic! You’re an expert about someone you don’t even know.

  16. Dewitt,

    What a well wrote article. I agree Mr. Grand is not one of the most talented singers I have heard. Better singers has failed on The Voice and American Idol. Although he is playing the “gay” card to tried to make it big, he needs to become more honest. He claimed to be the “first” openly gay country music singer and many of us already knew about OUT country singer Canadian Drake Jensen ( Second Grand is more of a country pop singer then a true country singer.

    He also has tried to hide from his “modeling” career, as brief (no pun intended), I have never read anything that he admits to doing it.

    So I wish him luck, but I wish he would make it on his talent and not by playing the “gay” card, and he needs to give all that money to an organization to help all LGBT people, not just to make him rich.

  17. I respect and applaud you. You disagree, and do so with respect to the persons opposed. I read your “featured comment” and appreciate and agree with your reasoning. You have won this debate. I apologize, and recant my position–favoring yours. I also still respect Dewitt as entitled to his view also. You are a cut above.

  18. All I have to say is…if vocal talent were the sole criteria for predicting success in the music industry, there are a slew of folks who should begin packing their bags for humbler digs….starting with Taylor Swift.

  19. People are paying to make ass-wipes like Bieber, or Kardashians, and Hiltons; as well as all the “REALITY” (??stars???) IDIOTS wealthy…….but your going to begrudge a guy trying to get a carrer started, a few thousand bucks?? Get your head out of your a55

  20. Steve has never claimed the “first openly gay” country singer title. The media outlets pasted him with the label cause that would catch people’s attention. He even mentions this in an interview he did LAST YEAR. He points out Drake Jensen AND Chely Wright as Out country singers.
    Chely Wright
    Chely Wright
    Chely Wright

    Of course he is going to milk this for whats its worth. Name one successful person that didnt try to use something to their best advantage. He’s a pretty white boy with a six pack and can sing well. Some people might not like his talent, but then again a ton of people hate Justin Beiber or One Direction for being “talentless hacks just pretty faces”

  21. I agree that Dewitt may have come down a too hard on Grand in using him as an object lesson. However, his larger point is an excellent one — about both the gay community and the world writ large: our priorities our completely fucked up. If you want to support an extrememly worthy organization that addresses some of the woes Dewitt mentions, check out this one:

  22. Dewitt is entitled to evoke a discussion which could lead to any betterment
    of the LGBTQ community. He wasn’t assailing the aspirations of the singer
    cited, he just was using it as a catalyst to encourage ‘wider thought/actions’
    regarding issues which are seemingly ‘too large’ for the masses (us) to tackle.
    Any victory is good. Larger victories are needed and there is no lack of
    argument in how to address these. For a porn site blogger to evoke meaningful
    actions ‘above the belt’ using the largest sex organ of the body to make a huge
    difference (ie: the brain) – I say “Good on you, Dewitt”. People need to think big
    and make a difference whenever & wherever they can. Mission started here,
    thanks Dewitt. Happy Weekend to you all – play nice now.

  23. True! Agree 100%. Too often, mediocre or poor talent is chosen in a pretty package–while top talent is ignored, only because the package is not gorgeous. Dancing w. t. Stars chooses the hottest, sexy bodies, over the dance talent constantly. The true name for the show should be “The hot-bod contest.” It has little to do with actual dance competition. This is only an example that came to mind–there are lots more!

  24. To guarantee shit goes down proper for any CHARITY as that is that this man is and all who do these campaigns, volunteer your services not your money, if that can’t happen not sad!!!

  25. I’m kinda over Kickstarter… I guess it’s fine if people want to donate money to various art projects, campaigns, etc. but when people start asking for money to fund their own weddings and self-involved projects, I am frankly not impressed. I get that it’s hard for the arts to thrive… I work in the arts. But when it comes down to who campaigns the best to get his or her product out there, I am not sure we get the best art. The current/waning process of artist’s starving and working their way up the fame ladder through hard work was never perfect or free from politics or favouritism, but at least it honed people’s crafts through hard work and perseverance. Now we get stuck with instant celebrities based on reality TV appearances, looks, and how well their voices are auto-tuned, and we end up with a lot of rubbish. Yes, there was tons of rubbish “back in the day” too… but wow, we’ve got a lot of shitty music coming out now.

  26. If you want to devote money to a charity, start your own Kickstarter. Seriously, Kickstarter is not some sort of charity go round, people who want funding for commercial activities go to Kickstarter. Should the LGBT comics who’ve been funded via Kickstarter give the money they need to publish away? No.

    It’s an asinine question.

  27. I have to disagree that “Manhunt does nothing but promote ‘pretty white boys with a six pack’. They feature many man that are not white, are not “pretty” in the standard gay way, and are not “boys”. In just past few days, they have posted the following







    If you go back and look I think you would find more men that would not qualify as “pretty white boys with a six pack” then those that do.,

    Maybe is it you that cannot see this because you only look for the “pretty white boys with a six pack”????

  28. Let this kid enjoy himself.
    Seriously, why is it there is always a debbie downer that can’t appreciate or let someone fully realize their dream, without trying to make others feel guilty for not curing cancer at the same time?

    Why is the gay community always ready to pump up one of their own, only to cut them down and make them fail?

  29. My sense of this is that he is a guy who is trying to achieve his dreams, and give himself every break he can, and has asked people to help. He found a way to market himself to a particular audience he believes wants to help him and he has done what he can to make the campaign as successful as possible. Success is not a bad thing. He has the drive and intitative to make it happen, and he has allowed his audience to decide whether or not to help him. The choice is mine whether I donate, but his goals are very clear and should I choose to do that, I have no illusions as to what my donated funds will help him do. I will not feel poorly that someone had a dream and went for it. If I want to contribute to other undoubtedly talented people in the community, I hope they will give me the opportunity to do so the way Steve Grand has done, but its up to them, not Steve Grand.

  30. One reason he is getting so much money so fast is this is something that will end up coming to fruition. We can pour as much money as we want into Africa but that is not going to change the culture there that is so homophobic.

  31. One man’s shitty music is another man’s favorite song. Remember, just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean someone else might. It is called personal preference for a reason. Art, just like beauty, is in the eyes (and ears) of the beholder.

  32. I have a problem with the fact that an OPENLY GAY artist is showcasing a madly in love STR8 couple but he is asking the gay community to financially support him I mean its not as if he were showcasing a madly in love GAY couple in defiance against HATRED by showing the world THEY ARE MADLY IN LOVE !

  33. I don’t dispute that… you’re right. The point I was trying to make was that often music and talent is really rushed because of instant celebrity. Artists used to have to work really hard and hone their craft before anyone noticed them. Now people go on a show or get a powerful Kickstarter campaign because they are popular personally (not necessarily professionally) and they become instantly famous without understanding the business, without being seasoned performers or not knowing how to cope with fame. I think we get a lot more one-hit wonders instead of seeing really developed bands, singers and artists.

  34. I understand your frustration Dewitt but your argument is one that has been made many times and simply is not fair. Do I want to see Steve Grand famous? Yes. He is gorgeous and I have no problem with him representing my community. Is he the most talented gay singer/songwriter? Maybe not but I have no way of finding that person. Do I care about and support other gay related issues? Yes. Why can’t one support both?

    Yes there are many causes to support in the gay community. So many most people cannot possibly give to them all. But those will not change whether or not someone tosses Steve Grand $10, $20 or even $100 so that he can make his dreams come true.

    Why not complain about gays spending their money on porn and cam sites? On watered-down Starbucks frappuccinos? On Amazon wish list of their favorite G4P porn star? My guess is because you know it’s a losing battle. Instead of attempting to tell others what they shouldn’t spend their money on, it’s a much more productive ploy to suggest ways they could spend their money. And be specific.
    “The Mathew Shepard foundation has been working tirelessly to stop bullying. They would…”
    Is much more effective than…
    “Please stop sending money to G4P pornstars and give to homeless youth”

  35. Absolutely innane on every level. Not one small part of Dewitt’s comments has any redeeming value whatsoever.

  36. Hey Dewitt–why are you breathing and using up precious oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide, when there is already way too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere?! How dare you sit around breathing while the earth heats up, destroying the quality of life for our children and grandchildren!

    Why are you hanging out on a gay porn blog when there is so much misery and injustice in the world?! WTF is wrong with you?!

  37. Because gay people have no place singing about straight love. This is obviously absurd!

    The video is NOT about straight love anyway, if you would get ur head out of ur a55 and pay attention to what the song is saying!

  38. Ya, let’s go back to the days when artists had to sell out or kiss “the man’s” ass to achieve success, insteand of being funded by communities working together. That’s a great idea, GraphicJack…brilliant!

  39. Yes, gay priorities are completely f-ed up. But the support given to Steve Grand is hardly an example of this. Quite the opposite.

  40. This is the kind of bullshit argument that gives liberals a bad name.

    I think we can file this piece in the why-do-we-pay-pro-athletes-so-much-and-teachers-so-little folder. Sure, it’s obviously true. But saying it out loud has zero effect on the way our society works, and only serves to make us feel superior. And the feeling of superiority can’t help LGBTQ people in Uganda.

    For the record, Steve Grand wanting to make music/be famous has nothing to do with AIDS, Russia, or any other worthy charity. He asked for money and people gave it to him. Connecting those dots is a result of some baggage you’re carrying around.

    I’d argue that even attacking the backers of his kickstarter, while valid, is a complete and utter waste of time, because you’re making a false assumption that the money was going to fund AIDS research but Steve Grand snatched it up first. More than likely, it was going to Starbucks or some other corporation.

    Rather than attacking some stranger for pursuing their career, which I assume most of us do every day, start a donation campaign. Volunteer to hand out information at a local event. Do SOMETHING…

    Because, in reality, this post will accomplish as much for AIDS research as Steve Grand’s future album.

  41. Did you bother to even read Dewitt’s article before you tried to attack mine? If you had, you wouldn’t have made a complete ASS out of yourself by trying to argue something that Dewitt had brought up initially. Anyway, no time to reiterate my point to an idiot who has nothing better to do.

  42. I think anyone trying to make it should play any card in their deck that works. Why the hell should he hold onto his gay card if it could earn him points in the game? You’ll just be stuck with it at the end of the game. I’m just glad that the gay card finally has some value in today’s society. It didn’t when I was his age. Just ask George Michael.

    And stiffreed is correct, he never claimed to be the first anything or even a country singer. He just makes music that he likes.

  43. Why assume this will make him famous? I guess we just like to eat our own.

    Let’s attack the Veronica Mars kickstarter instead, that money could probably be better used.

  44. Pay attention to what the song is saying ? How can I ? U can hardly hear the lyrics in the clip that included with the post ASSHOLE !!!

  45. Thats funny because I was just getting ready 2 ask U the very same thing ASSHOLE !!!

  46. The “extra” he has received won’t even cover radio promo for a few months. Let’s just step back and realize that most people have no idea the real costs for music promotion. He still has a crazy uphill battle.

  47. Other openly gay artists have done this though. I’m just wondering how that would be opening doors that aren’t already open.

  48. i like reading people’s rants about donating to a causes from kickstarter campaigns. this is happening w/ the web series ‘where the bears are’. they’re asking for $150,000 to produce the show and ppl want them to donate the rest to charity. i think everyone is missing the big picture–donations are great and make ppl feel good but $20,000 is not gonna keep people in uganda out of jail. when there is success in the lgbt community, more eyes focus on the community. then, we have better bargaining chips and are in a more prominent position to make changes for lgbt causes. no one wants to listen to someone that is seen as a failure or is put down, because it makes whatever cause they are fighting for seem less important in the great scheme of things. we don’t know what causes steve grand stands for, but i’m sure when his successes come, he will have a bigger platform to address issues that he is passionate about to help bring change and more people will want to listen and contribute to those causes to mobilize the community and make change. one thing i have found in the lgbt community, is i have never seen an artist make huge amounts of money without giving huge amounts of money and contributing to causes effecting lgbt people, EVER! i say let mr. grand make his album, let him carry out his dream and be successful, then we have another person that can contribute both vocally and financially to our various campaigns.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.