Will Gay Men Ever Have Another Queer as Folk? Another Will & Grace?

Arguably speaking, the two greatest television shows to primarily feature gay men are Queer as Folk and Will & Grace. Two fantastic programs that were completely different in terms of how they portrayed gay men and our daily lives.

Not only did both shows start roughly 20 years ago and had a great amount of success, but their production was also a major milestone for our community, getting the conversation going outside of our community to where audiences from all backgrounds not only felt invited, but also became educated on what it was like to be a gay man.

The struggle to find something even close to the scope of those two shows and since then has not happened. We should becounting our lucky starts that Will and Grace returned. Sure, LGBTQ visibility on television is at its greatest numbers ever, however the majority of who we are on camera revolves around supporting characters and not an entire LGBTQ ensemble. We’ve come this far yet still feel kind of like a second thought.

Have we had opportunities since W&G and QaF premiered? Sure. We had Noah’s Arc and Looking. Both with similar premises, but with entirely different characters, plots, storylines, and whatnot. Did we s**t all over each? Not sure about the former, but the latter we definitely did.

I was one of those very harsh critics of Looking the minute it premiered, and my jaded attitude about the characters and their development kind of stuck with me all the way to the movie. Looking (no pun intended) back, I didn’t realize how necessary this show was given that we haven’t had an all gay ensemble in so many years, yet due to low ratings and the criticism the show faced it was canceled after two seasons. Luckily, there was the movie to try and tie all the loose ends up, however this was a series that could’ve gone further if we just rolled with the punches and stopped being so freaking critical for 5 minutes.

It’s very frustrating that this is sort of the equivalent to how people view girl groups and The Spice Girls. Domestically (in the United States), we really haven’t had a girl group of that magnitude in such a long time and this goes for developing a successful gay television series where we are the focus and not the side dish. Yes, it's great that W&G is back, but the show is still heavily flawed in not focusing on the relationships for Will and Jack (separately), but more about Grace’s love life and Will being there for her in the end.

Why can’t we seem to get it together and make a new LGBTQ show happen? That goes the same for a lot of the primarily gay movies that have been made for decades now. We hated so many of them, yet several are unknown gems today, and they cover material that the younger generations should be watching (And The Band Played On, Longtime Companion, etc).

Things are different today compared to what they were even ten years ago. Shows like Friends, Frasier, and Sex and the City wouldn’t really work in 2018 as they did 20 years ago given how everything has become so digital today. Looking did a good job at capturing both in real life experiences mixed with digital ones, and W&G has done the same… even repeating ideas they did in the original one with the reboot.

Still, we don’t have that television series that focuses on the modern-day life of the gay man. There have been reality series that have tried to capture this, but have failed, some of which were more insulting then helpful (Boy Meets Boy anyone?)


Whether it be a drama, comedy, horror, or whatever, it would be amazing if we could capture that magic of the gay lifestyle on a 42-minute edited television show sometime soon. This time around, I can say for myself that I will not be so quick to judge as I did in the past, as these things can be the “little engine that could” and our community is the tracks that it needs to ride on. Otherwise, programs will never leave the station and we'll continue with being represented by a supporting cast member.

This post was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject.

9 thoughts on “Will Gay Men Ever Have Another Queer as Folk? Another Will & Grace?”

  1. Please like me is the most

    Please like me is the most well written funny sad and best coming of age story focusing on a boy in his 20's figuring it out.

  2. One thing still lacking are

    One thing still lacking are TV shows or movies about middle aged gays and lesbians..Much as my husband and I like looking at young guys it would be nice to see a movie or program that shows that gay life doesn't end after you turn 40.(in the case of my husband and I, our relationship actually began in our early forties. If physical beauty is such an important part of what makes a story about gays appealing, I know that a lot of guys in their fifties and sixties who are easy on the eyes.

  3. The first few episodes of

    The first few episodes of "Looking" were kind of dull, but then the show picked up.  I missed it when they canceled it.

  4. The critics were so horrible

    The critics were so horrible to HBO's Looking, that I just couldn't wrap my head around it! It was a great show, and the only show dedicated to gay men at the time. And I hate to tell anyone that criticized it, but my group of friends lived/live exactly like the characters in Looking, so for me it was very real. They should have given it a better chance, I've seen much worse and unrealistic shows go on much longer! Jonathan Groff was perfect in that part. I miss the show very much.

  5. Swill & Disgrace was and is

    Swill & Disgrace was and is an embarrassingly unfunny minstrel show and the Q-word is a slur, thus any TV show that tries to normalize it is unwatchable.

    Stop telling gay men to settle for degrading homophobic crap just to be seen at all. In case you haven't noticed, it isn't 1975 anymore.

  6. Though there were times I

    Though there were times I enjoyed both shows, I was never a huge fan of either “Will and Grace” or “QAF,” but I was thrilled they were on television, knowing there was someplace I could go to see people like me, and that’s important. What’s interesting is how the two shows differed. “W and G” portrayed us as part of the culture, “QAF” as a subculture, but in their own way both got it right.

  7. I have still never watched

    I have still never watched Queer as Folk. I didn't get premium cable when it was on. The whole club scene never appealed to me either and it seemed to me that was a primary theme so I doubt I could relate. I've never even been to a gay bar or club at 44. It's on HULU, maybe I'll try to watch. 

    • Aaron it still is worth a

      Aaron it still is worth a watch. I recommend you watch if despite the club thing. The writing, characters, dialogues are good.

    • It’s on netflix too. QaF

      It's on netflix too. QaF covers issues such as safe sex, drugs, HIV, adoption, marriage, coming out, bullying and more. It is true Club Babylon is in about every episode but there is a lot going on outside of it. Just keep in mind it is a little dated. Lol Worth a binge though. 


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