Only in America: The saga of Nate Green, formerly gay country singer 

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Nate Green, aka Josey Greenwood

Nate Green, aka Josey Greenwell

There’s a completely bonkers story bubbling up from the world of country music that illustrates a lot of things, either about the fluidity of human sexuality, or the never-ending American capacity for human reinvention, or  the moral and creative bankruptcy of the music industry. Or possibly all three.

Here’s what happening according to website WeHo Confidential, which broke the story: Years ago, starting around 2006, there was a rising country singer named Josey Greenwell. Greenwell positioned himself as an openly gay country music star- maybe not the first, but certainly one of the first. He gave media interviews, appeared on talk shows, and performed at Gay Pride events. He was even romantically linked to a male reality star.

The effort to break out, however, didn’t seem to succeed; I know that until this week, I had never heard of Josey Greenwell.

This summer, a new country singer known as Nate Green emerged- and he and Josey Greenwood are the same person. The other twist is that “Green,” at least in his public presentation and music videos, is not gay at all. The “Josey Greenwell” online presence has been completely scrubbed; “Nate Green” now has over 31,000 Twitter followers, and his feed makes no mention of his past. It’s mostly focused on a hashtag effort to get him verified on Twitter, as well as Nate returning the flirtatious attention of girls and women.

So there are a few possibilities as to what happened here. Perhaps Greenwell/Green is bisexual. Possibily he’s an “ex-gay,” although that path tends to be a of a Christian nature, and Green’s social media presence makes no mention of anything religious. Maybe he still is gay but decided, for the sake of his career, to pretend not to be.

Or, the other possibility is that Greenwell/Green was never gay at all, merely posed as homosexual as some sort of marketing/packaging gimmick, and dropped the whole thing once it didn’t succeed- think Lizzie Grant/Lana Del Rey– you know, if Lizzie had been an out lesbian under her past identity. But if that’s the case, I’m just wondering who thought being gay in the world of country music would lead to more success as opposed to less.

I’m also curious how Green thought he could get away with this repackaging without anyone noticing. And if he ever gets very famous, he’s going to have to provide some sort of explanation as to how exactly he went from being gay Josey Greenwell to straight Nate Green.

Whatever happened here, there’s something deeply American about this story. It’s Dick Whitman/Don Draper all over again- the American tradition of shedding one identity in favor of another.

(Note: This article originally mistakenly referred to Green’s former name as “Josey Greenwood.”

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  • Normandy

    He obviously is gay and trying to hide it. But he doesnt have any singing talent so it doesnt matter if he reinvents himself as a cat…

  • Sylvester

    It’s Josey Greenwell, not Greenwood. And I hadn’t heard of him either until yesterday.

  • flexdoc

    Yes I would assume the “conversion” was very beneficial to his career. I don’t think gay country singers fare very well. I hope he doesn’t think anyone REALLY believes him.

    • Joseph Singer

      The problem is that for the rest of his “career” he’s going to be dodging his other life. Whether the other life is his real life or not thanks to the way the net works it is never going to be scrubbed. People are not stupid. He will always have his gay life in the background. Whether that ultimately affects his country career remains to be seen. Maybe he’s just confused.

  • Joseph Singer

    The guy is obviously conflicted. He’s spending entirely too much effort to make it appear that he’s someone who he is not. That’s a miserable way to continue your life. He may hope that his new persona will be his new life but he conveniently fails to grasp in this day and age everything you are and were is somewhere on the net. You can continue to scrub away at your past and pull down those tweets and Facebook posts but it’s always going to be there and people remember and people aren’t as stupid as you may believe they are.

  • Brian

    Who the hell cares and what has he done to you do deserve the “exposure”? How he wants to present himself is no one’s business but his own. I have never heard of him in either incarnation.

    You should buy music because you like it and not only if the artist passes your litmus test. It’s like the idiots who stopped buying the Dixie Chicks because they expressed their opinion, but then others who bought them only because they liked what they said.

  • Brian

    Not to be cruel, but if you watch the Nate Green videos, his voice is really mediocre… gay, straight, bi, whatever – he doesn’t have the talent to be a big star. This new persona seems to be drawing a lot of attention from young women, but boy bands don’t work in country music long term… and he sounds like a member of a boy band, no where near strong or compelling enough to stand on his own and make an impact in the country (or any) music world.

  • Ace

    Spoken like a fine defender who is probably closely associated with Nate Green aka Josey; who probably has multiple of his associates go on the web to look for references about his past and react defensively in his favor