Move Over, LGB: 'Queer As Folk' Gets a Reboot, and It's Trendy to a 'T'

(Lou Foglia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

Queer As Folk is back, but it’s not your grandmother’s gay and lesbian soap opera.

If I could wish one thing for today’s adolescents, it would be historical perspective. More than prior generations, they lack it; and I believe that fact is largely related to TV reruns.


We’re living in the most rerun-less era since the start of syndication. Yesteryear’s kids caught over-the-air and cable TV, featuring programs from decades past. But young people today collect their cultural cues from social media at-the-moment. They view movies and series via streaming, perhaps watching what they heard about online.

In other words, the only world today’s youth know is the one happening now.

Surely many in their teens can’t comprehend: Just a few years ago, there was no such ubiquitous term as “trans.” “Gender identity” and the notion of “nonbinary” — both rooted, it seems to me, in the transitional idea of transgenderism — occupied no space in the American lexicon.

School kids are likely unaware that such subjects — as they presently and prominently exist — are brand new.

A fantastic example of our cultural conversion comes courtesy of NBC’s Queer As Folk reboot.

For those unaware, the serial drama debuted in 2000 domestically. For half a decade, it ran on Showtime; the topic was too taboo for networks such as NBC.

On Wikipedia, here’s how the old show’s premise is described (for brevity, I’ve removed the actors’ names):

The series follows the lives of five gay men living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Brian, Justin, Michael, Emmett, and Ted; a lesbian couple, Lindsay and Melanie; and Michael’s mother Debbie and his uncle Vic. Another main character, Ben, was added in the second season.


Now consider the 2022 revamp’s rundown of characters, as listed by an email from Peacock TV:

  • Brodie (he/him)
    A charming and sometimes chaotic commitment-phobe who finds a reason to stay in New Orleans after tragedy rocks his community.
  • Mingus (he/him/they/them)
    A cocky high schooler whose confidence belies their lack of real world experience.
  • Ruthi (she/her)
    A trans, semi-reformed party girl who is struggling to grow up.
  • Shar (they/them)
    A nonbinary professor navigating the rocky transition from punk to parenthood.
  • Noah (he/him)
    A successful lawyer who is not as put together as he seems.
  • Julian (he/him)
    A pop culture nerd with cerebral palsy who is more than ready for some independence.

America is done with amateur nouns; we’ve all gone pro.

Once upon a time, there was just the LGB. And then, Mr. ‘T’ came along. In a matter of moments, the new kid became the cool kid. Pity the fool who doesn’t pay him/her/them respect:

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Features Its First Transgender Model, Who ‘Embodies the Well-Rounded Woman’

It’s Official: Barbie Goes Transgender

Transgendered Contestant Becomes Iconic Game Show’s Winningest Woman

Church Pastor Claims Jesus ‘Transgenders Himself’ in the Bible

‘Nonbinary Gender Affirming’ Doctors Offer Sexual ‘Nullification’ Surgery

Transgender Revolutionary Joe Biden Is ‘Advancing the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons Around the World’


Queer As Folk’s new iteration boasts some impressive talent, including Ed Begley, Jr., Juliette Lewis, and Kim Cattrall.

And it’s tackling hot topics; from Decider’s coverage of Episode One:

Opening Shot: In the midst of a pulsating electronic track and videos of skimpily-clad men, two men have vigorous sex.

The Gist: One of the men is Brodie…who is back in New Orleans after leaving medical school in Baltimore. Of course, he hasn’t told his family yet, so he’s looking for somewhere to stay. He was offered a place to crash by the other guy, until Brodie sees a BLM tattoo on that guy’s very white skin. …

Then there’s Mingus…a 17-year-old who is determined to get into a drag school sponsored by a local club called Babylon. He gets a fake ID to go and everything. He also asks for a passing grade from his English Lit teacher, Ruthie O’Neill…so his mother Judy…will let him go. Ruthie, who is friends with Brodie, is about to have twins with her wife Shar… …

[Ruthie’s] already settled down with Shar and about to embark on parenthood, but there’s an element of her that feels that she’s fading from the community she knows and loves. It’s why she finds herself at Babylon despite the fact that Shar is extremely pregnant.

So how looks the critical reception?

Decider, for one, decided thusly:

Did we need a third [version] of Queer As Folk? Well, on the spectrum of series reboots, this one seems to be closer to the “necessary” side than most. It’s because the world of the LGBTQIA population has changed so drastically in the 17 years since the American version ended. Same-sex marriage is legal and the community is more in the mainstream than ever before. So, like with the return of The L Word, it was a good time to examine what it’s like being young and queer in 2022.


It has drastically changed, indeed — though a new generation of Americans may never know how much.



See more content from me:

Joy Behar Knows When Republicans Will Ban Guns: When Black People Finally Get Some

Ibram Kendi Worries His Toddler’s Attachment to a Doll Might Summon the ‘Smog of White Superiority’

On the Anniversary of George Floyd’s Death, a Professor Announces Property Is Racist

Find all my RedState work here.

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