I had the pleasure of meeting Steve Grand earlier this year at a concert held at Fort Lauderdale's Sunshine Cathedral. The night was quite memorable with a very well stocked welcome session before and also a gathering after where concert goers had the chance to wrap an arm around the super polite Grand. As I was waiting for my time beside the very photogenic man, there was a pause while Steve had to do some face exercises. He jokingly stated something about all these pics and smiling, he was getting a work out. That's how down to earth he is, being very open and candid before, during, and after his solo concert. His energy was contagious and he's very inspirational, and yes, very easy on the eyes.
For those of us that are unable to get to one of Steve Grand's performances, you can always download his music on iTunes or search for his videos online. As mentioned, Grand was very inspirational, real, and down to earth in person, but what we learned from a University of Illinois gymnast, Grand's videos have been inspirational as well.
Fred Hartville was struggling with his sexuality in the fall of 2013. Jason Collins had come out earlier that year and the news was rife with LGBT stories. But it was watching on YouTube Steve Grand's "All-American Boy" that had the biggest impact on Hartville. – Outsports.com
Hartville shared with Outsports.com and GAVoice.com his coming out story and the personal issues he had with his family during the process, especially the 2013 holiday season. I would recommend going to both sites and reading his personal journey. Hartville was a walk on to the University of Illinois Gymnastics team and went on to win the 2013 NCAA vault title, the first ever walk on to win any NCAA gymnastics title.
Eight days after Hartville won his national title, Sports Illustrated published NBA player Jason Collins’ announcement that he’s gay. Equality for LGBT Americans also progressed nearly every week as same-sex marriage went through the court system and state legislatures in the spring and summer of 2013.
“That’s when I really started getting into looking that type of stuff up on the internet and going to watch these YouTube videos of other people coming out,” Hartville says.
Nothing on YouTube affected Hartville more than when he happened to watch Steve Grand’s debut single “All-American Boy” about a gay man’s secret unrequited feelings for another man. – GAVoice.com
So, throwing this back to you, Fred Hartville, I think you're pretty inspirational, too. These two videos below show just that. The first one is of Fred Hartville's interview just after winning his title in 2013, where he is super humble and talks about teamwork and how the team helped him win his title.
This video is from IllinoisHomePage.Net and highlights the uniqueness of Hartville's title win.
Thanks again Fred for being an inspiration yourself and thanks for reminding us how much of a fan we are of Steve Grand. If you need a reminder of the video. Here it is below. And don't forget to look for Steve Grand's CD release on March 24th of this year.
But let's not forget, that Steve Grand is a hunk of a man. To remind you of that, take a look at DNAmagazine.co.au and see him in some nice little undies. Sorry Steve, but we have to admit, you are damn nice to look at.
There's one more I want to share, but go over to DNA Magazine and see what else they snapped of Mr. Grand.