Fellow Travelers finale used a real piece of gay history


Matt Bomer and Jonathan Bailey in Fellow Travelers episode 8 finale
Image: Paramount+

The emotional finale of Paramount+ drama Fellow Travelers used real squares from the AIDS quilt in a pivotal scene in the episode.

The acclaimed gay drama series has chronicled the years-long love story between Matt Bomer’s Hawkins Fuller and Jonathan Bailey’s Tim Laughlin.

Spoiler alert!

The series started in the 1950s, and concludes in the 1980s, as Tim lays dying of AIDS.

Hawk, now older, brings his daughter Kimberly to the National Mall in Washington DC, where the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt was first unveiled in 1987.

The quilt features thousands of fabric squares each honoring a person who died from the disease. It was created both as a tribute but also to show the tragic scale of the epidemic.

In the final scenes, Hawk sees Tim’s square and shares with his daughter for the first time that the man was his true love.

Many of the quilt squares onscreen are real

Fellow Travelers showrunner Ron Nyswaner said while Tim’s square is fictional, many of the quilt squares in the show are real.

During production of the show, he envisioned the crew creating their own prop version.

He contacted the quilt’s custodian, the NAMES Project Foundation, for tips. But the foundation enthusiastically offered to send real pieces of it instead.

“The gay God was looking out for me that day,” Ron told Entertainment Weekly.

“They sent a video with how you handle the quilt squares when you unpack them and lay them out.

“It’s so large now that it can never be displayed in one place ever again. There’s no space big enough. So they send pieces.”

Memorial AIDS Quilt in Washington DC
Quilt exhibited in Washington DC

Actor Matt Bomer said filming the scene was “completely immersive” and it was “overwhelming” to see the real quilt.

“It’s one of those moments as an actor where you really just try to get out of your own way,” he said.

“The story is already happening. It’s alive in you. I think it’s such a beautiful, poetic ending to the show.

“You’ve been on this massive four-decade arc with these characters. Hopefully [you’re] invested in their lives and their loves, and you realize that Tim was just one of these squares.

“There are thousands and thousands and thousands more just as rich and interesting.”

The entire series of Fellow Travelers is streaming in Australia now on Paramount+.

Read more:

Fellow Travelers director talks filming that sexy foot scene

Jonathan Bailey shows off racy Fellow Travelers prosthetics

Victoria’s AIDS Memorial Quilt gets official heritage listing

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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