Friday, April 29, 2016

Guest Post with Mia Siegert: Queer As Folk and How It Influenced Me

Today on the blog we have Mia Siegert, author of Jerkbait which comes out on May 10th. Add it to your Goodreads or pre-order now! Now I'm going to move aside and let you all read Mia's guest post! Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments! I'm sure Mia would appreciate it.

Source  - Showtime
Queer as Folk and How It Influenced Me 

In the horse show world (at least in America for the hunter/jumper circuit), the LGBTQ community is widely accepted. This is something that baffles some people as there’s a lot of big money, but I guess maybe that money comes with passion and care about animals.

It’s interesting how, in growing up in that world, I became attune to a lot of the prejudices against the community. Or at least aware. I think this can be attributed to a lot of the books I read and movies I watched, especially Queer as Folk.

Although it’s often been criticized as portraying one perspective of gay culture with the parties and the drugs and the wild sex, Queer as Folk was almost my awakening. I can see the show’s flaws without rose-tinted lenses, but the grittiness of it woke me up. The fearlessness. I saw how one show fearlessly approached things, like gay bashings, drug overdoses, affairs, questionable consent. It had everything, even if we wonder why we sympathize with Brian, the protagonist, as he goes through man after man, not learning names, screwing around, doing coke. We see how his past with his abusive father led to these decisions, how he had to be dominant, the definition of a control freak, confusing power with sex and sex with power. We cry as we witness how he was unable to realize that he was the victim of statutory rape as he boasts about sleeping with his gym teacher when he was only fourteen because, “he loved it.” We cringe as we see the cycle continuing as 29-year-old Brian falls in love with 17-year-old Justin and, after learning what Justin’s age actually was, justifies it as best as he could.

So in a weird way, Queer as Folk taught me about the LGBTQ community to the mainstream world instead of just the sheltered world with horses. It alerted me to the realness of hostility, the issues within. It led me to realize why we sympathize with characters we shouldn’t, what makes an anti-hero likeable, and why. And, certainly, without question, it changed the way I write.

Have you ever watched Queer as Folk? For those that aren't aware, this was a show in the UK and then it was turned into a series on Showtime in the U.S. I didn't watch it on Showtime, but I found it online afterwards and have watched about half of the series now (I own all seasons). I need to continue, but I'm definitely a fan! 


Jaclyn Canada said...

I haven't ever seen the show, but I have heard of it. I think it's important how some shows can open our eyes to the darker things that are going on if we haven't already been attuned to it. I've seen a lot of dark things and know that no matter how hard things are, someone else has it much worse. I agree with your comment on anti-heroes as well and how we can definitely related to them and feel for them.

Braine TS said...

And that's exactly why I didn't really warm up to this series: Gays are stereotyped when they're so much than relationships and sex and... well QUEER.

Like right now, I'm sorely disappointed with TN. Our Governor signed the "Hate" Bill BS. Therapists can now refuse treatment to patients who are gay because of their beliefs. It's all sorts of wrong!

Lisa Mandina said...

I never watched the show. Didn't have movie channels. I heard it was pretty good though. It's interesting to hear how shows like this can influence people though. Great post!

Ramona said...

Jerkbait sounds quite interesting I have to admit :) Nicely done and much success to Mia! I also enjoyed her guest post - Queer as Folk sounds like something worth watching (and also quite difficult to watch...) I'll look for it fir sure. Great post!

Verushka Byrow said...

I watched the UK series, but not the US one -- I admit, I didn't give the US one a chance because I didn't think a US remake would do the content justice. I caught up with a couple of eps years after the US one started, and found I was right -- it wasn't my cup of tea unfortunately -- but it's definitely found an audience who have responded to it and its themes -- and that I can appreciate.

Jennifer @ Bad Bird Reads said...

I loved that show. It was so rough but so informative.

Karen Blue said...

I never watched the show, but I am not opposed to watching it. I think it might have been a timing issue. I think it is great it was such an inspiration and well done. I am gonna have to check out the show.