Michael Ausiello and William Keck

New Folk Fracas

When Showtime's addictive gay soap Queer as Folk kicks off its second season Sunday (10 pm/ET), don't expect a resolution to what has become one of the show's most disorienting plot inconsistencies: How could Hal Sparks's Michael character have been reared by such a liberal, pro-gay mother (Sharon Gless), and yet still remain closeted at work? Turns out, it's a question Queer producers apparently asked themselves, as an episode from last season was to have featured the thirtysomething department-store manager coming out to his colleagues. But a funny thing happened on Michael's way to full disclosure — his portrayer slammed the closet door shut.

"I refused to do it," Sparks tells TV Guide Online. "I didn't think seeing all seven of us on a pride march every week woul read more

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