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The Queer As Folk Reboot Was Inspired By A Real-Life Tragedy

Now on the verge of launching its third iteration, this time as a Peacock original, the pioneering LGBTQ+ series "Queer as Folk" got its start back in 1999 on Britain's Channel 4. Centered on the experiences of three gay men as they live, love, and party their way through life in Manchester at the turn of the millennium, the iconic original was created by Russell T. Davies.

The original "Queer As Folk" focused on the characters Nathan Maloney (Charlie Hunnam), Stuart Alan Jones (Aidan Gillen), and Vince Tyler (Craig Kelly), and details their day-to-day lives and successes, or lack thereof, in hooking up and generally navigating the world of Manchester Village's thriving gay scene. An American version of the series premiered on Showtime not long after, setting the action in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and starring Randy Harrison, Gale Harold, and Hal Sparks (via IMDb). The latest take on the now-classic formula is now set to debut on Peacock on June 9, per Entertainment Weekly

Along with the recent positive news about the series' return, however, is the sad fact that the show's latest version was actually inspired by a real-life tragedy within the LGBTQ+ community.

The horrific shooting at the gay nightclub Pulse inspired the new Queer as Folk series

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, writer and director Stephen Dunn recalls how he became the creative force behind the "Queer as Folk" reboot. "The Showtime rights to Queer as Folk had expired and they reverted back to Russell [Davies]. I was in the U.K. and hopped on a train, set up a meeting and pitched Russell my take." That take on the new show, as presented by Dunn, included the narrative foundation of building the series around an incident similar to the tragic 2016 mass shooting that killed 49 people at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Florida.

"I knew what it was going to be about," Dunn added, saying, "I knew the story. I knew the premise. I knew I wanted it to be about a community rebuilding after a Pulse night club-like tragedy." Dunn then went on to say that his anchoring premise for the series immediately met with Davies' approval. " He loved the concept and the energy that I brought to it and felt like this had the potential to expand on the legacy of this series."

So, while the new "Queer as Folk" is certainly cause for celebration, it's also a moment to reflect on the appalling act of all-too-real violence that played a key role in the show's reboot.