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June 30, 1998 12:00 AM

Showtime’s sexually charged series, “Queer as Folk,” already a controversial sensation in Britain, held its American premiere in New York Thursday night. The candid “Queer” brings everyday issues out of the closet and will debut on the cable network come Dec. 3. “I heard about the show when they had done the English version of it,” Cynthia Nixon, of HBO’s “Sex and the City” (which is controversial itself), told PEOPLE, “and it sounded so great so I wanted to come take a look.” Other curiosity seekers included Rosie Perez, Armand Assante and “Torch Song Trilogy” playwright and star Harvey Fierstein. As expected, even at the post-screening party (which benefited the Gay Men’s Health Crisis), once conversation about the show died down, talk turned to the current election stalemate. “Something tells me we don’t know what’s going on, and I don’t like that feeling,” Fierstein told PEOPLE. Admitting his support goes to Vice President Al Gore, he added, “I’m a little scared, but I trust the American system and feel that we can survive.”

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