Like any young gay to have come out just recently, I was looking for appreciation of gayness in all of mainstream pop culture, which in late summer of 2006 led me to Channel 4’s soapy gay drama Queer as Folk. The show turned out to be exactly the raucous, self-aware fun I was looking for, helping me coming to terms with what set me apart from the rest of the pack. Even though I kept insisting to myself that my being gay would not change much of how I saw myself, Queer offered me the opportunity to fully embrace the all-out gayness I wish I had the courage to display in public. It helped, if not socially, then on a psychological level. I may never become an extrovert, but I’m not going to use my gayness as an excuse for my shyness, I said to myself.
I absolutely hate to admit this, but the fact that I am physically disabled, in a wheelchair, has only boosted my shyness. It’s definitely hard to flirt with other guys if by the next minute you could be dependent on them to (literally) carry you to bed (sex or not). I guess I could come across as a fairly self-confident guy, but truth be told, that’s more about my tendency toward cynicism than anything else. I can of course be charming, but I’m so afraid of letting other people get to know me that I tend to scare them away with my somewhat rough-edged sense of humor. Add to that that my looks are boringly average at best, and the chance of me and some bloke hitting it off anytime is severely limited. But that doesn’t mean one cannot hope. First and foremost, hope is what Queer as Folk instills in me.
It’s sad of course, but to people like me, Queer is escapism, above all. We drool over the absolutely astonishing beauty of Charlie Hunnam, and we wish for Christmas for an healthy dose of the charm and confidence of Aidan Gillen’s Stuart Allan Jones. When nothing else than the post-orgasmic bliss caused by the former materialize, we go back to our normal, sad lives. Still gay, still hoping for better days, but with an imminent sense of personal stagnation..