Save for LOGOtv and its wealth of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” reruns, there is little consistency or constancy of diverse programming when it comes to LGBTQ television or film. Look at a so-called “gay” section of Netflix, for example, and you get but a smattering of “queer voices”-related shows. Amazon Prime having "The L Word" on loop isn’t much help either. On mainstream services, gay programming still makes up a minority of options.
That’s why the new, Philadelphia-based Dekkoo – a streaming video service directed toward gay men exclusively at present – is a welcome respite. It currently holds hundreds of new and old gay male-related titles in drama, comedy and documentary, with newly developed and commissioned original series, all at one low monthly price, with the claim of unlimited streaming access to the largest collection of gay films and shows available anywhere.
Producer/entrepreneur Derek Curl and Brian Sokel are the men behind the dream of Dekkoo, one whose concept has been long on hold.
“Derek had a unique vision and approach to the gay market,” said Sokel. “Derek had the idea for Dekkoo several years ago but didn’t quite have the right team in place to put it into play. However, once he and I became partners, the team locked in and the vision became a reality.”
Sokel, a straight, cis gentleman, said of working in an all-gay cinematic medium that, “I take great pride in operating a business that promotes diversity and provides a service to an under-represented community.”
As for Dekkoo’s rationale for a streaming service specifically tailored to gay men, as opposed to including television or film directed to trans or lesbian or bi communities, Sokel believes that there are so many wonderful gay films (feature-length and short-format) and episodic series that do not have a home in the streaming universe.
“We wanted to provide that home, and rather than be a ‘jack of all trades,' we wanted to be the specialists of one genre, to give it the attention it deserves,” he said. “We wanted to focus on content we were most passionate about and knew best. There is this tendency in the mainstream world to lump every letter of the LGBTQ community into a one-size-fits-all category. We believe every letter of the LGBTQ+ acronym deserves attention. The ‘G’ just happens to be our specialty.”
Any streaming platform that promotes queer cinema or television deserves to feel progressive, in Sokel’s mind, but Dekkoo spent time studying how content geared toward gay men was positioned on other streaming platforms. They compared the content that was out there and noticed a lack of representation. So the market was ready for it. “Now, Dekkoo is the largest repository of queer cinema for gay men in the world,” Sokel claimed.
Of greatest interest to the Dekkoo team is its three original series: "Feral," "Love Is Blind" and "I’m Fine," with the streaming service currently in the midst of pre-production on several additional series. “Though there is a deep and supremely rich pool of already existing shows and films, original programming is a big focus for us,” Sokel said. "It’s what sets us apart from other platforms and gives added value to our subscribers.”
Dekkoo costs $9.99 per month, and can be found at www.dekkoo.com.