Queer as Folk (US)

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Title Queer As Folk
Network Showtime
Premiere December 3, 2000
Purchase Available on Amazon

Queer as Folk was a drama about a group of gay and lesbian friends in Pittsburgh. It aired from 2000-2005 and was based on a British show of the same name.

LGBT Representation

May contain spoilers

Queer as Folk was the first hour-long drama in the United States to focus on the lives of gay and lesbian men and women.

Most of the series regular and recurring characters were gay or lesbian, including seven gay men - Brian Kinney (Gale Harold), Justin Taylor (Randy Harrison), Michael Novotny (Hal Sparks), Emmett Honeycutt (Peter Paige), Ted Schmidt (Scott Lowell), Vic Grassi (Jack Wetherall), and (starting in the second season) Ben Bruckner (Robert Gant) - and a lesbian couple: Lindsay Peterson (Thea Gill) and Melanie Marcus (Michelle Clunie).

The series dealt with many issues of special concern to the LGBT community, including homophobia, gay bashing, HIV, same-sex marriage, conversion therapy, and LGBT rights, as well as universal themes such as love, family, and friendship. The show was also well-known for frequent, graphic sex scenes, especially between Brian and Justin, in stark contrast to the common portrayal of Sexless Homosexuals in many tv shows. The sex scene between Brian and Justin in the Pilot episode, which aired December 3, 2000, was the first simulated sex scene between gay men ever shown on American television[1]. It also depicted the first legally wed gay couple, the first gay adoption, and the first HIV-positive/negative couple on American television.

LGBT Cast and Crew

Executive producers and writers Daniel Lipman and Ron Cowen are partners both professionally and personally.

Several of the actors initially refused to disclose their own sexuality to avoid detracting from their characters, but Randy Harrison, Peter Paige, Robert Gant, and Jack Wetherall have since come out publicly as gay, and Thea Gill as bisexual, while Gale Harold, Scott Lowell, Michelle Clunie, and Hal Sparks have identified themselves as straight.


May contain spoilers

Episode 1x12 "Move It or Lose It"

After Emmett starts going to "conversion therapy," Ted gives a passionate speech about God's love that persuades him to accept his homosexuality.

"[God] created you in his image. At least that's what I was always taught. And since God is love and God doesn't make mistakes, then you must be exactly the way he wants you to be. And that goes for every person, every planet, every mountain, every grain of sand, every song, every tear… and every faggot. We're all his, Emmett. He loves us all."

Episode 1x22 "Full Circle"

After saying he wouldn't, Brian shows up at Justin's prom. and they share a romantic dance.


Note: this clip does not include the upsetting and potentially triggering scene that follows, so feel free to watch and enjoy!


There are more than 3300 works tagged for Queer as Folk on the fanfiction archive An Archive of Our Own, with more than 2600 focusing on the canon slash ship Brian Kinney/Justin Taylor.

Related Links


  1. http://www.out.com/entertainment/interviews/2014/06/27/queer-folk-cast-explains-why-sex-mattered-movement

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