Well, really that should be Queer As Folk Street. I’m in Manchester for this years UK GLBTQ Fiction meet – my first – and I’m just back from a guided walk around Canal Street, the iconic street in Manchester’s gay village.
Oh Lord. Queer as Folk. Queer as Folk. Not the not-nearly-as-good US version (sorry US cousins, but really? Brian? What the hell fuck is with the name Brian? Naff as hell that.), but the real one. Queer as Folk.
Stuart, Vince and Nathan – what do I owe you?
M/m romance. Just m/m romance and the **entire damn reason I write**. That’s what I owe them. Discovering how wonderful m/m romance is, how *hot* it is. Well, yes I know. Shallow, that’s me. So shallow you can see right through me. But it’s true. Until then, I’d never seen mainstream depictions of gay men other than the horridly camp “I’m free!” of Mr Humphreys or Larry Grayson’s “Shut that door.” The only depictions of gay men were so camp that you’d think they all wore tents and spent their lives singing Boy Scout ditties around an open fire.
But Russell T Davies? Russell T is gay, and knows his stuff, so to speak. And dear lord, didn’t he glory in showing it to us, widening our horizons, making us fall in love with beautiful men and beautiful bodies. And in my case, have a personal epiphany about what I found so unsatisfying about the gen fanfic I was reading and (the Lord help me!) the gen fanfic I was beginning to write. It’s quite a moment when you have that Wait! Hang on! Holy fuck but that’s why I hated that crap! That’s why it wasn’t working for me. Apollo shouldn’t be kissing that dreadful Mary Sue, he should be kissing Starbuck!
And the rest, as they say, is history.
So, thank you, Russell T. Thank you, Canal Street. And, above all, thank you Stuart, Vince and Nathan for literally changing my life. I love you, boys. May you live forever.