Queer as Folk
I went five years without once watching Queer as Folk. My friends watched it. From time to time I saw, but never read, articles about the show, or interviews with its stars and writers. But it was pretty much off my radar.
Periodically a gay male friend of mine would say, "Have you watched Queer as Folk yet? I think you'd really like it." And I told him I was planning on it, but I never did.
Finally it went off the air, and he gave me the first season for a Christmas present. Right after that, on December 28, 2005, I put the pilot episode in my DVD player. And I pretty much sat in that chair and watched the first four seasons without any real memory of doing anything else at all for the next few weeks.
The fifth season wasn't out on DVD yet, which drove me to the Internet, looking for someone who could tell me what happened. I discovered a thing I later found out was called "fandom," a wild and mostly welcoming place full of insane obsessed people who loved Queer as Folk.
Since I was pretty late to the party, I found a legacy from the oldtime, original fans -- sites like PrincessOfBabylon.com, that lists the music that was used in each episode and hosts an active music discussion community, and What Love Means, a site with classic fanfiction, episode recaps and meta -- as well as active communities first at LiveJournal, and now at InsaneJournal, a similar but more fandom-friendly journaling site. I've listed all the IJ Queer as Folk fandom communities here.
As a "newer" fan, my experience of the show was different from the oldtime fans, who saw it spread out over five years, with lots of angsty waiting between episodes and between seasons. Many of those fans invested heavily in ideas about where the storylines would go and how the characters would or should develop, both from discussions of the show with other fans and also from reading and writing fan fiction. For some, this led to a certain bitterness and dissatisfaction.
Many new fans, on the other hand, absorbed the show in one long, uninterrupted DVD marathon, and therefore saw different things and had a different perspective on the show. While there are oldtime fans who still love the show, and new fans who hate the ending or certain characters, as a broad generalization, new fans tend to be more positive, particularly about the later seasons and characters other than Brian or Justin.
I personally love all the characters and seasons, and love the series. If you feel the same way, come play!
Queer as Folk Fanfiction
This website is Xie's gift to the fandom that gave so much to her. She can be contacted at xie.kay at gmail.com ...