The highly anticipated LGBTQI show is coming to UK viewers on 1 July


In 1999, Russell T. Davies’ Queer As Folk hit screens and changed the game for onscreen LGBTQI representation as the UK’s first queer-centric TV series. It was incredibly influential, resulting in an adaptation set in Pittsburgh which came out in 2000. Two decades later, and UK viewers are soon to be introduced to the latest reimagining from creator Stephen Dunn. This generation of Queer As Folk follows a diverse group of friends residing in New Orleans whose lives are transformed in the aftermath of a tragedy. 

I particularly loved the way the show portrayed Shar (CG), a non-binary professor navigating the transition from punk to parenthood and Ruthie (Jesse James Keitel) a trans semi-reformed party girl who’s struggling to grow up. Here’s what they had to say about all things Queer As Folk.

DIVA: When the original came out in the 90s, it broke barriers and opened up conversations in the mainstream. This new generation of Queer as Folk allows even more people within the LGBTQI community to feel seen. I’ve never seen non-binary parenthood represented onscreen, so CG, what was it like taking on the role of Zaddy and to portray this journey on screen? 

CG: I feel like Char took me by the hand and was my Zaddy as well, in that way of being a protecting force, a guiding force, a loving force, to be inside of, to be able to embody. 

Seeing a family like this, seeing a parent like Char, all of this is just so grand by way of importance. Because, preparing [to portray] a non-binary parent, like sure, I identify as such, but I don’t identify as a parent. [When searching for non-binary parents on YouTube] two people popped up. To have more of that be on something to see, so that people who do identify and express as a genderfluid person, can be like, “Okay, this is a version, it’s not me, but it’s a version. I can see not only a cis grouped family, okay great, it’s not as daunting.”

“Seeing a family like this, seeing a parent like Char, all of this is just so grand by way of importance”

And similarly, Jesse, how do you feel about the way Ruthie’s motherhood was presented? 

Jesse: What I love about Ruthie being a trans woman and finding motherhood, is she’s not ready for it. What we so often see with queer parents is this long, arduous and often expensive road to parenthood. They have to want it so bad for so long. Straight cis people have the gift of accidental parenthood. Ruthie and Char’s journey to parenthood wasn’t accidental, but Ruthie wasn’t ready for it. I love that you really get to see her journey to accepting her place, not just as a parent, but as a mum. You see her work through a lot of her own gender dysphoria around parenthood and I love it.

And Jesse, you also got to deliver one of my favourite lines on a TV Show ever: “You can be trans and toxic, it’s called intersectionality bitch.” How did it feel to be given the room to portray a character who was allowed to be messy and multidimensional?

Jesse: It’s why I wanted to do the show. So often queer people, specifically trans women, are put in this position where they have to be perfect. They have to abide by a different set of rules than their straight cis counterparts. We’re seldom given the opportunity to be villains, we’re seldom given the opportunity to make mistakes and rarely do you see us given the opportunity to grow. Ruthie’s got some growing she needs to do and we get to see that onscreen. I love that she fails, frequently. Getting to play a person on TV who is a real person, who happens to be trans, that’s the storytelling I wanna do. It’s a story told by queer people and predominantly for queer people. That’s the biggest difference. 

“We’re seldom given the opportunity to be villains, we’re seldom given the opportunity to make mistakes and rarely do you see us given the opportunity to grow”

And of course, I have to ask, what was it like sharing the screen with Kim Cattrall?

CG: Sharing time with Kim, there were some nice lessons learnt. There was a certain amount of ease that she carries herself with, a certain amount of grace. It’s not like she’s commanding a room, she walks into a room and on the screen and it’s like there’s a certain amount of flawless control about her being. To be able to get to know her, not just as the Kim Cattrall of the world, but just as the human that she is, even if it was just from afar or one-on-one up close, it was just nice to get to know her as a person. 

This show made me laugh and cry. How do you both feel about the way the show balances joy and celebration as well as trauma and healing? 

Jesse: It feels reflective of the world I live in. I don’t know if you can really separate queer joy from queer trauma. They do feel inextricably linked through all the trauma living in the hellhole of the world right now. We have to find moments of joy, we have to find moments of connection. It’s our relationships that get us through the hardest times and that’s really what the show explores. Leaning on each other as a community, as a family.

Queer As Folk is available for UK viewers to watch on Starzplay from 1 July, with two new episodes being made available each week. 


DIVA magazine celebrates 28 years in print in 2022. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQI media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable. 

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