Queer As Folk's Jesse James Keitel Names Her Personal Queer Hero - Exclusive

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There is no better time to dive fully into queer media and support queer businesses — and more! — than during Pride Month. You can follow queer makeup artists or jump into the best novels to read during Pride Month, but there are also optimal TV shows to binge — or savor; that's up to you — throughout June. Season 3 of the acclaimed "Love, Victor," for instance, landed on Hulu on June 15, per Us Weekly, though this is unfortunately the series' final installment. In that same vein, you can return to "Love, Simon," the 2018 film on which Hulu's series is based. (If you want a good book to read, you can check out Becky Albertalli's "Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda," which inspired both the series and the film.)


Now, too, you can watch Peacock's "Queer as Folk," which boasts a cast full of queer representation and tells the story of many parts of the LGBTQ+ community, including centering gay, trans, and lesbian characters, among others. The members of this cast have become icons for all generations of queer people, who are watching them live openly on the screen. However, the cast also has their own personal queer heroes.

In an exclusive interview with The List, Jesse James Keitel, who portrays Ruthie in "Queer as Folk," revealed not only how "Big Sky" prepared her for her role but also who her personal queer heroes are.

Jesse James Keitel looks up to a trans 'beacon of light'

"Queer as Folk" showcases a broad range of queer emotions and experiences, but its stars look up to people who held those same positions for them. When asked who her personal queer hero is, Jesse James Keitel told The List, "It might be a cliché just because she's trans, but I look at Laverne Cox with such honest and open admiration, especially when she was navigating the media." 


"I couldn't imagine the blatant transphobia and racism she probably was, and probably still, experiences, but her career path and her ascension to super stardom is iconic," Keitel continued. "She's so eloquent in how she stands up for people in the queer community and trans community. She's a beacon of light."

Cox is known for TV and film work like "Promising Young Woman," "Orange Is the New Black," and "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" (via IMDb), and anyone who has seen even of these projects can attest to her radiant talent, beauty, and warmth. It's safe to say that we see why Keitel looks up to her so much.

All episodes of "Queer as Folk" are now streaming on Peacock.