Brian A. Kinney is a fictional character from the American/Canadian Showtime television series Queer as Folk, a drama about the lives of a group of gay men and women living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The character was created by Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman, who developed, wrote and executive-produced the series, and was portrayed by American actor Gale Harold during the shows five-year run.Handsome and masculine, Brian is a successful advertising executive who owns a lavish Pittsburgh loft and leads a glamorous and self-indulgent lifestyle. He is portrayed as extremely promiscuous and narcissistic, taking pride in his looks and his status as the most desirable man on Pittsburghs Liberty Avenue. Brian completely rejects heteronormativity, in which he includes gay marriage and monogamy in general. His storylines on the show revolve around his refusal to adhere to these ideals, often putting him at odds with his gay friends who yearn to get married and start families of their own. Despite his feelings, Brian does father a child via artificial insemination with his close friend Lindsay, a lesbian, and ultimately develops a romantic and sexual relationship with young artist Justin Taylor, which is central throughout the series.Brian has been the subject of controversy among LGBT critics of the show. He has been described as the ultimate gay hero for his liberationist philosophy, but has also been criticized for his representation of what many gay viewers believe are negative stereotypes about gay men. In November 2007, Brian was voted the most popular gay television character of all time by AfterEllens brother site, AfterElton.
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