In KUNTERGRAU, coming out is part of the past while sex and love is mundane. A group of five gay friends between 17 and 24 deal with everyday problems and experience the meaning of love, sex, and friendship.
The series deals with Leopold (Age 17) who does not want to identify himself through his sexuality, Noah (Age 24), whose BDSM fetish challenges his ex-boyfriend, Jan (Age 20), to a point where their relationship begins to break. Along with them, promiscuous Marcel (Age 21), who works as a banker and has to live with his HIV infection. Last but not least, Lukas (Age 19) who moves from the country to the big city to get away from his controlling parents – unsuccessfully.
The stories of these five men become intertwined and what results is a story that encapsulates what it means to be a young gay man in a big city.
Jan’s (20) emotional intelligence makes him an important link within his group of friends. His sometimes harsh and impulsive behavior does not hide his deep need for emotional intimacy with a trustworthy partner. After his breakup with Noah he has to relearn to trust and it looks like he put his trust in the wrong person…
Marcel (21) might remind audience members of some stereotypical clichés within the gay community, just to take them down right away. On the outside he appears to be your typical promiscuous big city gay who does not refuse any chance for quick anonymous sex, but taking a closer look at his personality, we quickly realize that he is a loyal friend who secretly is looking for love like any other person. We chose to not problematize Marcel’s HIV-status hoping to showcase that living with HIV does not necessarily become problematic because of the disease, but because of the stigmatization that comes with it. When Marcel falls in love for the first time, he realizes his fear of losing someone due to his status.
Lukas (19) grows up in a small, conservative town. While his classmates are fine with his sexuality, it is his family that struggles to accept him for who he is. After being outed on prom night, Lukas leaves town to move to Cologne hoping to pursue a career and a life where he may freely experience his sexuality. He soon must realize that he cannot run from his problems at home.
Leopold (18) refuses to identify himself through his sexuality. For him his personality is mainly influenced by his friendships and his emotions. After his parent’s death, Leopold is raised by his grandmother who might overdo it sometimes when it comes to her unconditional support and love for her only grandson. Being calm is one of his strengths that make him important for his friends as well as him taming the emotional chaos of others around him. But soon enough he is hit by this emotional chaos himself…
Noah’s (24) sexual fantasies become less problematic after he gets to know Mark. For the first time after his breakup from Jan, Noah realizes that a fetish can be totally normal if it’s paired with the right person. But despite his satisfaction, Mark can’t replace Jan. Soon enough Noah has to ask himself if sexual satisfaction is more important that emotional satisfaction.
Margarethe (60) became Leopold’s legal guardian after her son and his wife died in a car accident. With her loving, humorous, and caring personality, she sometimes overdoes the support for Leopold and his sexuality. In her, Leopold found someone who supports him unconditionally which makes Oma Margarethe the mother, father, brother, sister and grandparent most gay teenagers would have wished to have on their side while coming out.