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Why You Should be Watching Europe's Most Popular Gay Web Series "KUNTERGRAU"

Americans have had our fair share of gay series, both on television and the web, with all types of series ranging from "Will & Grace" to "Where the Bears Are".  There is one, however, that has the claim of currently being Europe's most popular gay web series.  The German produced "KUNTERGRAU", is a series produced on a voluntary basis as part of the youth work of Europe’s oldest LGBT youth center: the Anyway Youth Center in Cologne, Germany.

The show is produced by gay men between the ages of 15 and 27 in their spare time and includes film students as well as media-interested gay men who all have one goal: show the world what being gay in 2017 means to us.  

The name of the show, which means, "neon gray", have published two seasons so far: Season 1, which includes 5 episodes that premiered in early 2016. It was followed by a crowdfunding campaign for season 2 in March 2016. After raising 7.000€, production of season 2 took place in August and September of the same year. Season 2 first premiered on April 1st 2017 in form of a cinematic premiere in Cologne with over 500 guests attending.

The series deals with Leopold (Age 17) who does not want to identify himself through his sexuality, Noah (Age 24), whose BDSM fetish challenges his ex-boyfriend, Jan (Age 20), to a point where their relationship begins to break. Along with them, promiscuous Marcel (Age 21) who works as a banker and has to live with his HIV infection. Last but not least, Lukas (Age 19) who moves from the country to the big city to get away from his controlling parents - unsuccessfully. The stories of these five men become intertwined and what results is a story that encapsulates what it means to be a young gay man in a big city.

The show is non-commercial, everything is done by donations.  Kai Kreuser, who is the director of KUNTERGRAU, says "We are not willing to go back into the closet - why we produce the show KUNTERGRAU was brought to life because we - as young gay men - didn't feel represented in the media landscape in Germany. We felt that we were talked about but not talked to. So we decided to create content we would have liked to have seen when we were younger: A web series that represents our concept of our own sexuality: natural, self-confident, outspoken. We deeply believe that our generation is the one to form the future and we definitely will influence society's perception of sexual minorities with our natural respect towards the ones surrounding us."  

The trailer for season 2 (which can be found here along with other material for the show) deals with a ton of hot button topics that is ongoing within the gay community including HIV status, coming out to your parents, escorts, cheating on your boyfriend and a lot more that seems to be handled in the best way possible. Sometimes shows like this tend to become more of a caricature of what gay life really is (not mentioning anyone in specific), but KUNTERGRAU seems to hit the nail on the head of this fascinating series.