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?
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