Showtime series Fellow Travelers speaks volumes about queer history

Sat. November 4, 2023 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn

Showtime's new series Fellow Travelers will take viewers on a trip they won't soon forget. The show explores the journey that two male lovers embark on for decades of their lives. It's based on the book by Thomas Mallon and begins during the 1950s, but covers later decades that the novel does not.

Fordham graduate Tim Laughlin is portrayed by Jonathan Bailey and state department official Hawkins Fuller is played by Matt Bomer. The two meet by chance in Washington D.C. and an affair ensues with long-term ramifications.

The couple are not based on specific people but the historical events they face are real. The storyline has a great deal to say about the anguish felt by gay men who wrestle with their sexuality during different time periods. Challenges arise from the political climate, societal expectations and religious beliefs.

The sex scenes depicted in Fellow Travelers are bold and may shock some, but they move the characters forward instead of being gratuitous.

Movies such as Netflix's Rustin and television shows like Showtime's Fellow Travelers highlight queer history that many people aren't aware of. At a recent conference call the producers were asked about what the average person can do so this history is not lost. Writer Ron Nyswaner suggested supporting these projects in every way possible. His fellow writer Robbie Rogers said to seek out media that's not always a big Oscar contender such as Philadelphia and instead look to romantic comedies such as Red, White and Royal Blue.

Director Danial Minahad spoke on giving a voice to more young storytellers in the future for more content.

Bomer was also a part of that executive producer team and is a standout in the role of a lifetime onscreen.

Fellow Travelers is worth the trip and gives hope for the future while remembering the past. This powerful story over the course of eight episodes will have audiences reflecting on their own experiences and will especially resonate with those who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community.

New episodes debut every Friday and explore more at