Archive for July 13th, 2018

by Lucille Juliano

Queer as Folk is an American and Canadian television series produced by Showtime and Temple Street Productions.  It was based on the British series of the same name created by Russell T Davies. It is interesting to note that a disclaimer, “Queer as Folk is a celebration of the lives and passions of a group of gay friends. It is not meant to reflect all of gay society” appeared after each episode on Showtime in the US, but on Showcase in Canada the disclaimer — “This program contains nudity, sexuality and coarse language — viewer discretion is advised” appeared before each episode and after each commercial.

All that being said, let’s talk about one of the truly great shows of the last couple of decades.

At times naughty and bold, at other times poignant, Queer as Folk was a cutting-edge series that was honest and unequivocal in its portrayal of the LGBTQ community living on Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the start of the new millenium.  The show centered on their paramours, aspirations, careers and friendships while devoting time to the most significant health and political issues affecting the community. Episodes explored the following topics: coming out, same-sex marriage, recreational drug use and abuse, gay adoption, artificial insemination; vigilantism; gay-bashing; safe sex, HIV-positive status, underage prostitution, actively gay Catholic priests, discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation, the internet pornography industry and bug chasers (people who actively seek to become HIV-positive).

The series had a dynamic cast.  Since most of the actors did not want to take anything away from their characters, they kept their real-life sexual orientations questionable to the press. This provoked much deliberation amongst the viewing audience which, by the way, turned out to be mostly heterosexual women despite the fact that the network’s initial marketing for the show was primarily targeted for gay male and lesbian audiences.  In the years following the show’s finale, it was revealed that the cast was a mix of various orientations which in the end does not make a difference at all. (more…)

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