Tyler Childers' New Video Stars Colton Haynes and James Scully as Gay Lovers
Country music artist and LGBTQ+ ally Tyler Childers released a music video this week for his single “In Your Love.”
The video, directed by Bryan Schlam, features gay actors Colton Haynes and James Scully. The video’s story was written by out author Silas House.
It showcases a love story in a Kentucky Holler in the Appalachian Mountains between two miners in the 1950s who eventually settle down together and build a life.
At first, the two only steal glances at each other before finally acting on their feelings. They’re caught and Scully’s character Matthew is attacked before Haynes’s character Jasper comes to his defense.
The video shows the two living their life together with friends and dinners, until Matthew develops black lung. He dies in Jasper’s arms on their porch.
In an Instagram, Haynes called the video “easily one of my favorite projects I’ve ever been a part of,” and encouraged viewers to “grab a tissue.”
“As a gay teenager who loved country music, I could have never imagined seeing myself in a video. That visibility matters. There have always been LGBTQ people in rural places and finally we’re seeing that portrayed in a country music video,” House said in a statement, according to People. “Tyler and I both felt the attention to detail about rural life was very important, so we made sure that the house and the people looked realistic for the time period instead of the stereotypes of country people that have become so ingrained in the public consciousness.”
“In Your Love” is the first single off of Childers’s album Rustin’ in the Rain, which is out September 8.
In an interview with NPR and House, Childers said that his allyship and his work with House as “The antidote to shame is seeing yourself in the world.”
They chose to set the video in the 1950s
He added that one inspiration for the video was his cousin.
“[One] reason that I wanted to do this music video was my cousin growing up, who's like my big brother, is gay. And he graduated from Northern Kentucky, went to Chicago and never came back. He taught me so much about singing; he was my first tough critic. And just thinking about him not having a music video on CMT that spoke to him,” he told NPR.
House added, “I think one of the things that makes Tyler such a great artist and such a great friend is that he's so empathetic. He wants to tell a story like this because he has friends and family who are members of the LGBT community, and are part of the story of Appalachia, too. These are human stories, not political stories.”
The selection of Haynes and Scully as the main characters, named Matthew and Jasper, was purposeful, House said.
“Well, we used a photograph of my uncle and my grandfather as reference. They worked in the coal mines, but on the weekend they went out dancing, and they looked like Elvis and James Dean,” House explained. “Also, I wanted an actor who was a really well-known gay icon. Colton Haynes is a performer LGBT people identify with — with his coming out story and his relationship story and his family story and all that. So he transcends just being an actor; he's a public figure.”
He explained that they were “lucky” to get Scully as well after his success Fire Island.
“They both put in so much for this video from early early morning to really late at night. I just couldn't believe how hard they worked,” House said.
As for being an ally in the country music space, Childers told NPR that it was time for him to give his “tithing — my offering — to the world that I hope to see and think can be.”
“For all the ugliness that it's going to bring out that just can't be helped, this video is going to make real conversations possible. This is a story of two people sharing their love and living a life together and experiencing loss. That's pretty powerful,” Childers said.
Below, check out some behind-the-scenes images from the cast and Childers.