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WATCH: The underrated series that brought messy (in a good way) deaf, gay stories to the TV screen

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This week, April 15 – 21, marks National Deaf LGBTQ+ Awareness Week, a project launch by the Deaf Queer Resource Center to uplift, support, and bring greater visibility to these multiply marginalized communities.

Every day this week, Queerty will be spotlighting a short film that focuses on deaf, queer characters—all of which you can watch right now.As we wrap up our coverage of Deaf LGBTQ+ Awareness Week, you may find yourself wanting more—and that’s a good thing!Hopefully the short films we’ve spotlighted over the past few days have shown that there’s so much potential for stories at the intersection of deafness and queerness, especially when deaf, queer people are involved in front of and behind the camera.Subscribe to our newsletter for your front-row seat to all things entertainment with a sprinkle of everything else queer.But these shorts are, by their nature, well… short.

And the truth is there’s still a lack of longer-form, mainstream storytelling—whether on stage or screen—that creates space for this underserved and underrepresented community.With that in mind, we’re breaking our own rules for the final recommendation of the week, and instead of highlighting a short film, we’ve got a full series: This Close, a dramedy that premiered in 2018, and was the first of its kind to star and be created by deaf talent.Actually, to be fair, This Close was initially a short, of sorts.

In 2015, friends Brian Feldman and Shoshannah Stern independently created a TV pilot called Fridays, loosely based on their own lives, about the day-to-day joys, challenges, and all the awkward stuff in-between for two deaf best friends.After crowdfunding, Feldman and Stern were able to flesh their story out into the series we know today, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival’s episodic program in 2017, then aired on the Sundance Now network the following year.In the series, Feldman plays Michael, a struggling artist and newly single gay man in Los Angeles, whose experiences.

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