What is Queer As Folk (QAF) and what does that mean?
For me and for those who are intimate with those three letters, it is a symbol and reminder of our past. I can’t speak for others, but for me, it is a happy reminder of my upbringing.
QAF is the abbreviation for one of the most daring TV shows of its time. Queer as Folk. YAS! I can’t help but laugh out loud. Saying that title to myself, even being here by myself brings me joy. It somehow makes the rainbow within my soul shine brighter than normal. I just want to walk down a runway and pose, pose, two steps forward and a Z formation. Snap, snap, snap. Haha, okay…. I digress.
Queer as Folk, which initially started out as a series in the U.K. was quickly migrated to the States and was given the North American pizzazz. Right from the get-go, as you are viewing the first episode, you are introduced to one of the many characters. Michael, who gives an insight of the stereotypical gay lifestyle with the thumpa thumpa thump of the heavy base, flashing strobe lights of a local gay bar where most of the local gay men flock to thus introducing you to the rest of the main characters.
Michael, your everyday next door neighbor kind of gay geek, Emmit the bold flashy gay man whose flame never dies out, Ted the older gay man who has trouble falling into the niche of being an “attractive” gay man, and then there is Brian. Brian…. sigh. Brian is the gay man that most guys try to go for. He is the one who has it all; Money, looks, moves, and most of all, a subliminal phone book that can hook any guy to lower their pants and bend over for him.
Within each episode and each season, you see their lives from the outside perspective of how hard our lives are as gay men. Each character representing every sect within the gay community presents an interesting perspective, at least in my opinion, on the hardships that every gay man faces within their lives no matter how they are brought up.
Even though there is a handful of characters to choose from as your favorite, there has always been one that has been and always will be my number one. Allow me to introduce, Justin.
Justin was who we all were at some point in time. Just fresh out of the closet accepting the fact that he too likes men and just like most of us falls head over heals for that first after losing his virginity. Why I love Justin as a character is that he portrays that captivity of emotion, from that first time, overwhelming sensation of accepting who you are, being free from all of that weight being lifted off of your shoulders and embracing being born again.
Some of you may remember it just as vividly as I do. The shortness of breath, the racing of your blood flowing through your body as you see that first “love” again, and the passion enveloping your body as his skin makes contact with skin. Like I said, this is something we are all very familiar with. Justin as a character is someone that we can easily relate to on all levels of the spectrum.
During the initial debut of its first season in 2000, during my freshmen year of high school, I was introduced to this show by a close friend who had assumed my sexuality. I knew I was different and that I found men appealing however I was quite naive and could not put the pieces together. As each episode progressed, my thirst for the show became insatiable. I wanted to know more of their lives. I wanted to be like one of them and eventually realized that I was.
Queer as Folk is a TV show that is a must-see. If you have not seen it, or saw it once upon a time and want to see it again, then fear no more. The entire series is on Netflix. I promise you, you will not be disappointed in the show.
And…. as a bonus, here is a clip of Justin embracing his….sexuality at the clubs. Enjoy <3