Remember Guns ‘n’ Roses? Music in the 80’s had degenerated into synthesized fluff and a morass of pop platitudes that left the remnants of the Rock generation cold. Then suddenly, from nowhere, there they were – hairspray and tattoos and miles and miles of attitude. Black leather and heroin and biceps to die for. And Guitars – actual balls-to-the-wall riffs wailing and screaming and scratching their way into our very souls. Not a synthesizer in sight. Fuck the New Wave – Rock was BACK, baby, all the way.”Welcome to the Jungle” became the anthem of a new generation of Drugs, Sex and Rock ‘n’Roll. That, my friends, was a GESTALT. For one brief moment in time, the planets aligned and all the elements clicked into perfect Harmony and the whole became more than the sum of its parts. It didn’t matter that it didn’t last. Frankly, they should have stopped with one album. They started going to hell the minute Axl stopped teasing his hair. Music was fun and gritty and blues-y like the Stones and the Faces before them. Those of us who enjoyed the torrent of Metal and Grunge that followed owe most of it to G’n’R.
At this point, you’re asking yourself “what has this got to do with Gale Harold?” My answer would be “Everything!” The producers of Queer As Folk have stated that “he fell out of the sky – there’s no other explanation” but I disagree. It was time – more than time – for a Gay Superhero/Anti-Hero and he needed to pull the mainstream, mediocre Middle just a little farther toward the Lascivious Left . If Gays are ever going to have true political representation, full exercise of their civil rights, and the safety and dignity that Middle America takes for granted, they have to lose the stigma of being “different”. The only way that happens is for the Middle to move past its adolescent views of sexuality. The average person must become, in effect, “unshockable” where Gay sex is concerned. That’s a tall order. Where to start?
Well our Gay Hero – let’s call him G.H. for simplicity’s sake – has to appeal to more than just the 10% of the population that happen to be Gay. (I think that number is really LOW. Gay men run the world is my perception, and most people have some kind of homosexual experience. 50% is probably closer, but that’s just my opinion and it belongs in another article.) It’s going to be hard to draw straight men in – they have “issues.” They will, however, tune in if they think it leads to getting lucky. So our G.H. needs to appeal to women. Most social change begins with women anyway, since they raise and educate and socialize most of us, in our early years at least. How do you make a G.H. appeal to women? You make him straight. It may seem a little odd for the feature character in a Gay-themed show to be played by a straight actor, but after all, it is acting… and if you want this G.H. to draw the ladies in, he’d better be unequivocally straight – maybe an ex-construction worker who drives a truck. These aren’t hard and fast rules – Randy Harrison and Peter Paige have lots of female fans – but for sheer volume, the women who watch the show need to lust without reservation. What single woman in this day and age hasn’t had a crush on a guy who turned out to be Gay? Once you’ve been through that, your “GAYdar” gets sharp as a tack to prevent further embarrassment. No, our G.H. definitely needs to be straight. And gorgeous.
Our G.H. has to be comfortable with his role. This is Showtime we’re talking about and Queer As Folk was going to take that “No Limits” tag line all the way if …