• Kenneth-in-the-212: Kenneth’s weekly ‘Mask4Masc’ feature is a winner with all kinds of inspiration this week (plus more at the link).
• TVLine: NBC’s streaming platform Peacock has ordered a reboot of the landmark queer TV series Queer As Folk. Described as a “vibrant reimagining,” the new Queer as Folk will center on a diverse group of friends in New Orleans whose lives are transformed in the aftermath of a tragedy. The original QAF debuted on Britain’s Channel 4 in 1999 and ran for 10 episodes. The American version was created for Showtime and lasted five seasons (from 2000 to 2005).
• Axios: A new Gallup poll shows more Americans identify as Democrats by the largest margin since 2012. Per the recent survey, 49% say they support Democrats, 40% support the Republican Party and 11% say they are Independents with no partisan leaning.
• Instinct Magazine: Grammy-nominated singer Kehlani shared this past weekend during an Instagram Live chat that she identifies as a lesbian. “You want to know? You want to know what’s new about me? I finally know I’m a lesbian,” said the singer.
• Herald Leader: A southern state is actually making it easier to vote? Gov. Andy Beshear (D-KY) signed into law Wednesday a significant election reform bill that will make it easier for Kentuckians to vote early, bucking a national trend of more restrictive election laws in the aftermath of the 2020 election.
• The Gaily Grind: The office of embattled Rep. Matt Gaetz released a statement purportedly written by female staffers defending the pro-Trump lawmaker amid his ongoing sex trafficking scandal. Despite being signed by “The Women of the Office of U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz,” not a single woman is named in the statement.
• Instagram: Just a quick reminder that baseball is back – and I ain’t mad 🙂
• InstaHunks: It’s Friday night and fitness guru Marc Burgum (above, proving clothes are sexy) asks, “If you could be doing anything right now, what would it be?” Follow him on Instagram here.
• Washington Blade: Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), whose support for the Equality Act is seen as crucial to winning Republican votes for the LGBTQ non-discrimination bill, has laid out the proposed revisions she’s demanding in exchange for her support.
• Stonewall Gazette: Check out the short film Sauna the Dead where two men must overcome prejudice during a night at the sauna by joining forces in taking down a horde of towel-wearing zombies. Who will live to see the dawn?
• Andrew Christian Blog: The underwear and swimwear designer offers five reasons why he believes bulges are sexier than seeing naked peen.
• WLTX: South Carolina’s hate crime bill got its first round of approval Thursday, but with an amendment that may exclude the LGBTQ community???
• Instinct Magazine: DC Comics will celebrate this year’s Pride Month with the release of an anthology series titled DC Pride which will include “LGBTQIA+ characters from all corners of DC’s ever-expanding Universe, including cameos by fan favorites Batwoman, Renee Montoya, Alan Scott, Midnighter, Apollo, Extraño, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Constantine, and more.”
• Pink News: Following the enormous success of his new series “It’s A Sin,” creator Russell T. Davies is looking at a reboot of his 1990s series “Queer As Folk.”
• Twitter: The hashtag #CancelFox was trending at number one this afternoon as the Twitterverse noted the irony that Fox News is all upset about ‘cancel culture’ while professing to love the ‘free market.’
Fox News is obsessed with cancel culture, the idea that cartoons have first amendment rights. The irony is, Fox is all up in everyone’s sh*t over what they profess to love: the free market. RT if you agree it’s time to #CancelFox
• Earlier today I wrote about the passing of director and actress Penny Marshall, but you really should click over to Matt Rettenmund’s much more comprehensive obituary at Gr8erDays. Matt knows his TV history like no one.
• Queer as Folk is getting the reboot treatment on Bravo! According to my Instinct Magazine colleague, Mickey Keating, we’re getting all new characters in a new setting which follows a group of club going friends who find support in the gay community after a tragedy.
• Gus Kenworthy wins the award for yesterday’s funniest tweet after Donald Trump accidentally referenced a gay movie in one of his Twitter rants.
Accidentally mentioning Paris Is Burning is the closest that Trump has ever gotten to supporting LGBTQ people… https://t.co/EJCFINDyYo
Cast members from the first season of Queer As Folk
It’s hard to fathom but it’s been 13 years since the ground-breaking Showtime drama Queer As Folk left the air.
The cast reunited for the first time since filming the series finale for Entertainment Weekly’s Pride Issue. During a photo shoot and group chat, the actors and creators shared their memories of the series – and all those sex scenes.
Taking a trip on the ‘way-back machine,’ EW begins it’s profile the same way the series did.
“The thing you need to know is, it’s all about sex.”
That’s the first thing audiences heard from Hal Sparks’ character “Michael Novotny” in the first seconds of the premiere of the series back in December 2000 as dozens of sweaty, shirtless young men dance at the club Babylon
And, that was very much a part of the truth.
“I can tell you what everyone here’s genitals look like,” says a still boyish Randy Harrison. “I won’t, but I could.”
“I think the sexuality — and the honesty of that sexuality — propelled us throughout the whole series,” adds Thea Gill.
Michelle Clunie, who played girlfriend “Melanie” to Thea Gill’s “Lindsay,” shared the preparation for their first sex scene together.
“I remember Thea and I got together the night before our first sex scene, and we actually practiced kissing because we felt it was very important that it was a real, intimate connection between these two women who had been together for so long,” says Clunie, 48.
(photo credit: Sami Drasin for EW)
Not everyone participated in the overt sex scenes. Sharon Gless, who played Michael’s over-the-top supportive mom, “Debbie” says, “They paid me to keep my clothes on!”
While the actors and creative team were ready for backlash from the conservative right, executive producer Ron Cowen says it never really materialized.
But the LGBT community had plenty to say.
“The show received criticism from gay people and gay organizations, but they never said we weren’t telling the truth,” says Cowen. “As we often said, ‘If you don’t like the reflection you see in the mirror, don’t blame the mirror.’”
“We saw it as an opportunity to address a lot of issues that had never been shown on American TV before,” Cowen told EW about creating an American version of QAF. “That was very important to us because we, gay people, didn’t really see a true reflection of ourselves on TV very often. Back then, you couldn’t get married. There was ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ in the Army. In 14 states, there were still sodomy laws on the books. It was a very hostile atmosphere.”
And yet, the series was a major hit for Showtime becoming the most-watched series for the cable network by the end of the first season.
The series lasted for five seasons following Michael and friends often addressing serious issues for the LGBT community as the world entered the new millenium.
From left to right: Michelle Clunie, Thea Gill, Robert Gant, Hal Sparks, Gale Harold,
Randy Harrison, Sharon Gless, Peter Paige, and Scott Lowell
(photo credit: Sami Drasin for EW)
That said, the cast was informed at the end of the fourth season that the fifth would be the last.
“The last year, every scene was important,” says Sharon Gless, who played Sparks’ mother. “‘This is the last scene I’ll do with Randy.’ ‘This is the last scene I’ll do with Thea.’ Even though it was sad, it was complete.”
With the current spate of TV reboots, EW asked the cast if there could be a new season of Queer As Folk?
“God knows the clothes and the hairstyles have changed, but the emotional stories are eternal,” Paige shares. “I often say people came for the queer, but they stayed for the folk.”