“Condoms...no one’s wearing condoms!” sputters an incredulous Michael (Hal Sparks) in a recent episode of Showtime’s fagship series Queer As Folk. He and buddy Ted (Scott Lowell) have just wandered into a barebacking orgy under the mistaken impression that it is a body-building event (an honest error -- “BB” doubles for both). And who should the boys spy there, with his pants down, literally in flagrante delicto (see photo [image not available]), but author Howard Bellweather (name play for “the lead sheep”) -- moral pillar of the local gay community and, to his fans, “a beacon of truth in a stormy sea of moral uncertainty.” Later in the episode, while accepting the Outstanding Gay Advocate Award from the Pittsburgh Gay and Lesbian Center, the attractive, slightly balding and muscularly stocky Bellweather (Stewart Arnott) priggishly lambastes gay society for its irresponsible behavior and for being its own worst enemy.

Hmmm. The similarity to a recent real-life scandal involving a famous gay, conservative political pundit -- also attractive, slightly balding and muscularly stocky -- caught, er, red-handed in a compromising situation also involving barebacking couldn’t be mere coincidence, could it? Kudos to the folks at QAF for poking fun at community “leaders” who take themselves all too seriously. “Smug, sanctimonious hypocrite,” sighs Michael bitterly. Ted, now sadder and wiser at his idol’s feet of clay, offers, “I still believe in what he says, even if I don’t believe in him.”