Country Music, Gay Artists and 'The Rhinestone Ceiling'
By Jordan Shavarebi
The new season of Sundance’s Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys, which kicks off tonight,is shedding a little bit of lavender light on the country music scene.
In a story running on the Sundance Channel’s website, music journalist Chris Willman talks to cast members Shane Stevens, a gay country music writer who struck gold with Lady Antbellum’s “American Honey,” about “the rhinestone ceiling.”
The essay, which you can read here, is hopeful and bleak at the same time. Gay songwriters are great, it concludes, but don’t you dare dream that an openly gay country music singer will ever be on the radio.
It’s something that Stevens, a boyishly handsome self-proclaimed “Jesus freak,” doesn’t seem to see much of a problem with.
“I haven’t hit resistance,” Stevens says about his career as an out country musician, “though I think maybe 10 years ago it was really different. Now, I’m not trying to be a country artist on the radio. That’s a whole other issue. They’re not going to play a gay artist on the radio.”
While he might be a brave, out and proud country music writer, it looks like we’re going to have to have to find another country music crusader if we really want someone to make noise.
It might be for the best: peek at the video below and you’ll discover that Shane Stevens doesn’t even necessarily believe that he was born gay.