Q. Allan Brocka on Reviving 2006’s ‘Boy Culture’ and What It Means for LGBTQ Community
Director Q. Allan Brocka has revived the 2006 film Boy Culture as a series that starts in the present day, 15 years later.
Darryl Stephens and Derek Magyar return in their respective roles, along with newcomer Jason Caceres in his first series co-starring role. During Outfest2021, Boy Culture: The Series premiered its first two episodes, coupled with a special episode of Noah's Arc: The Rona Chronicles.
During his recent interview with Pride, Brocka talks about the transition of Boy Culture from the movie to the series alongside the change in the prevalence of LGBTQ voices on screen.
Oral History of 'Boy Culture'
Growing up in the conservative Midwest, Brocka always found it hard to find anything other than heterosexual content on the media. He talked about how his sensibilities couldn't fathom a movie about sex work.
He chuckled when he said that his experience in the conservative town was the very thing that pushed him to work on something that shatters the taboo and shows the realities of homosexuality and sex work later on in his life.
The Shift in Gay Culture
The level of acceptance and prevalence of gay culture has changed since 2006. There is a sheer volume of LGBTQ voices on screen today, more noticeable on television as there are many well-developed LGBTQ characters on television.
Brocka explained LGBTQ characters weren't the sidekicks in movies anymore. Instead, they had entire shows built around them.
Creating the Series
The creators had been thinking about doing a series since they finished the film, primarily because of the book and how it's organized. The series would be a succession of confessions, each with its own narrative to tell.
Every episode in the series would focus on a different customer that X would visit and a different experience. However, the series felt extremely gay and sexual in that era. Hence, it wasn't an ideal mix.
However, now the concept of the sex work business has evolved. From word of mouth to going online and using apps, there are much more options.
Brocka explained it was of a greater deal and more intriguing when they first wrote it. They felt like they were ahead of time, and the audience was not ready for it, whereas now, the same things feel dated.
The story of X picks up 15 years after the movie. In the end, the main characters X (Magyar) and Andrew (Stephens) were getting into a relationship, and this is the end of that relationship.
A fresh addition to the cast, Jason Caceres, as Chayce takes X under his wing to show him how sex work happens in the new generation, with Instagram and new marketing media.
Caceres mentioned how the 2006 film motivated him to work on the series, saying, "[Sex workers] are human beings with emotions and stories that deserve to be told and held to a higher standard than they have been. And protected!"