Queer or Straight as Folk?

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“Queer as Folk” 1×22; Brian (Harold) and Justin (Harrison) at prom

The title of this blog is “an insight into a medium mind” and I feel that I haven’t really been true to that title so I am attempting here to reacquaint myself (and this blog!) with it.  This will come about through me divulging my thoughts and sentiments regarding the series Queer as Folk (the USA/Canada adaptation, not the Russell T Davies original show).

If you’ll permit me – if you won’t, please do skip this paragraph of vague summarising – I’ll just lay out the basic plot and premise of the show so you can better understand the significance and appeal of the TV series, if you haven’t seen it already.  It revolves around the lives of five homosexual men living in Pittsburgh, PA along with various other homo/heterosexual characters who affect their lives in weird and wondrous ways.  As you might have gathered by this point, I am a sucker when it comes to a good pairing or love story.  This show – in an eerily different manner to Angel or The Borgias – has exposed me to and made me appreciate a different but equally (if not more!) potent love: namely, that shared by the promiscuous and commitment-phobic Brian Kinney and ingenu, seventeen year old Justin Taylor played by Gale Harold and Randy Harrison respectively.  They go through an on again, off again relationship throughout the five seasons of the show but in the end, they go their separate ways in a refusal to settle for each other and to be men who they aren’t simply to keep one another selfishly.  However, in spite of the relationship’s conclusion, it is Justin’s determination and conviction that Brian is ‘the one’ despite the age gap between them combined with Brian’s desire not to be or to show vulnerability that renders their romance riveting.

I have to go into my personal feelings and experience regarding sexuality and in particular, homosexuality here.  It would be virtually impossible to write this post without exploring those topics in more depth.  Firstly, I’ll tackle sexuality – especially my own – here.  I am not sure I’ve yet come across a term that can aptly describe my sexuality as it rests somewhere in a remote, lonely alcove between bisexuality and asexuality.  I have long believed that I have no primal (or otherwise!) yearning to be in a relationship or engage in sexual activities ever again and I don’t ever see a person and feel any impulse of true sexual drive whatsoever.  That being said, I do differentiate between sexual driveand sexual attraction: one being the physical and active power and the other being more of a chemical and cerebral feeling.  Lack of sexual drive is an aspect of my feelings and nature that pushes me towards the asexual camp but I am sporadically taken aback by the occasional thought of, “bloody hell that guy really does it for me” or “Jesus H. Christ, I could imagine myself with that woman there,” which gives me a hell of a shove towards the bisexual bivouacs!  At first, I thought that this was merely a great ability to appreciate the human form in all its shapes, sizes and sexes and all its beauty, but since I stumbled onto Queer as Folk and found that I am utterly and hopelessly entrammelled by Brian and Justin’s relationship, I do wonder…

Furthermore, the programme has diverted me away from contemplating physical and sexual love (the ‘Aphrodite’ of love, if you’ll accept some Greek mythology) and caused me to reflect more on spiritual and emotional love (the ‘Hera’ love).  The latter is what I experience more keenly as I never desire or feel the need to indulge in physical love ever again but am constantly afflicted by an overabundance of sentimental feeling to compensate as a result.  Brian makes the point in season one that all he believes gay men can have during their lifetime is sex and no form of lasting partnership; he even makes the point of differentiating between gay men and lesbians, who apparently – according to him – are more conducive to that type of lifestyle.  That is not the case so much now but it does beg the question: why do so many people in this day and age have such issues with forms of love other than heterosexual and familial?  It is something that perplexes me to no end!

As I come from a staunchly Hindu family on one side, I would never be able to bring home a girl or introduce a female partner to my maternal family (should the desire ever take me) – it just isn’t done.  Therefore, I understand somewhat that some cultures are predisposed to be homophobic or unwilling to accept homosexuality, but an integral part of me wonders if love cannot be bad and unacceptable to the world if it is a virtuous and honest love.  NB. When I say ‘virtuous’, I do not mean it on any religious level, just on an ethical basis!  I have a few gay friends (all men as it happens) and it constantly grieves me that they have to endure and battle through so much in their lives so frequently just to be in love with another man and not be shunned as a result (by their families and countries, mostly).  Love is supposed to make people happy.  It’s meant to enrich people’s lives in all its forms, not cause lovesickness or strife or Russia to throw a post-Eurovision 2014 hissy fit!  Please forgive the rant…  Something that has made me happy in recent days through watching Queer as Folk which is really all about five gay men’s quest and journey to happiness and seeing one of my friends who is now in a homosexual and committed relationship, both of which have made me smile, feel aglow and less concerned that my own love life is dead and 9000 (arbitrary number!) feet under.  Just seeing my old friend and Brian and Justin gain the happiness that has been a long-time coming and so, so, so, so deserved is enough to reinvigorate my life and give me infinite happiness simply because they are happy in the real world and in the made-up world.

I would encourage everyone (once they reach sixteen years of age seeing as it is an explicit show!) to give this trailblazing, well-produced and moving, but hysterically funny show a go.  As I said to my father, The Pillars of the Earth irrevocably alters the way you view churches and cathedrals, Queer as Folk causes you to re-evaluate and – in my case but ought to be in everyone’s – reaffirm the fact that love is beautiful and shouldn’t be abased by anyone regardless of creed, gender, sexuality and race.

“A happy ending was imperative. I shouldn’t have bothered to write otherwise. I was determined that in fiction anyway two men should fall in love and remain in it for the ever and ever that fiction allows, and in this sense, Maurice and Alec still roam the greenwood.”   ~ E.M. Forster, Maurice

So, there you have it, I’ve spoken!  Whether you agree with me or not, my opinion is valid, as is my God-given right to be whatever sexuality I am and my perennial right to feel and give love in whichever form I so choose.

For more information and current events on gay rights and issues, I offer these links to you:

LaBellaBorgia Speaks,

P. Mistry-Norman

27-06-2014

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