Hunter Novotny-Bruckner, previously named James Hunter Montgomery, is a primary character in the Showtime drama series Queer as Folk. He was born to mother Rita, but after being taken into foster care and a few years on the streets, he is taken in by Michael and Ben whom later adopted him as their son.
When Hunter was a pre teenage, his mother was abusive and forced him to prostitute himself on the streets to "pull his weight" for income in their household. Hunter is eventually taken from her and placed in foster homes which he was abused with feelings of emptiness. Throughout his early teenage years, he survived by prostitution. He contracted HIV while with one of his clients. During the third seasons, While Michael Novotny and Ben Bruckner are living together, Chief Jim Stockwell's recent "cleanup" of Liberty Avenue forces gay prostitutes to solicit in front of their building.
Throughout the Series
One night a fight breaks out, and Ben goes to break it up, helping Hunter. Ben allows him to spend the night, and gives him the opportunity to stay longer if he wants. Both Ben and Michael are shocked by the fact that Hunter is willing to do anything sexually, and doesn't mind doing something with Ben, despite knowing that Ben is HIV positive. However, when Hunter ends up in hospital and puts Ben down as his family member to contact, Ben is told that Hunter himself is also HIV positive and takes it upon himself to tell him. When Michael tries to tell him it's not his responsibility, Ben is in contrary saying they are connected by blood. Michael relents. Hunter overhears Ben venting to Michael in frustration over him, and then Hunter cleans himself and his surroundings and tells them at their surprise that he has decided to go back to school.
Eventually, Hunter starts living with Michael and Ben, and begins to attend school. They struggle to foster him due to him being such an independent, rebellious teenager. Michael is against Hunter staying with them, though he eventually turns around as Hunter seems to have equal interests in comic books.
Brian take Hunter with him and goes to the bar to find him, and he does. First time, he doesn’t get any real solid answers. Then, Hunter goes and tricks him into sleeping with him to get his semen and other things. Hunter brings the evidence to Brian at his loft.
He find Kenneth at the bar again and buys him a drink and asks if a picture rings a bell as he shows Jason Kemp's photo. Reichert denies. Brian continues to reveal to him that the hustler he sleep with was such a rascal and took a magazine with his name on it, along with the condom with his semen that matched the specimens found inside the kid in the photo. Hunter successfully helped Brian find the killer of Jason Kemp before he stopped being so rebellious towards Michael and Ben who were really upset and scolded him because he was with the murderer.
Towards the end of the third season, Rita, Hunter's mother, appears. She claims that she had given him up for adoption due to a tumultuous marriage and for fear that she wouldn't have been able to raise her son on her low income, but would now be capable to do so. Hunter reacts badly when told that his mother has visited Ben and Michael. When asked for the reason for his reaction, he accuses his mother of having forced him to commit acts of prostitution from an early age. She does win custody initially, but the judge hears her callous and homophobic remarks regarding Hunter's HIV status "You dirty little faggot ... Are you trying to give it to me?", and awards custody to Ben and Michael.
During the fourth season, it is revealed that Hunter is in a heterosexual relationship with a girl Callie. First of all Michael is upset by this, by having a heterosexual son, but he learns to accept it, even having dinner with Callie's parents. However, the girl's parents force the relationship to end after learning Hunter has HIV and was a former male hooker.
During Season 5, Callie's parents also expose Hunter's HIV status at a swim meet after he has an accident, cuts his forehead open and bleeds into the water. This makes Hunter a target for bullying and hatred at school. This culminates in the school's principal calling a meeting for the concerned parents to try to disarm them. However, the meeting turns into a sit down where most of the "concerned" parents throw hurtful insults at Hunter. But , Hunter is able to take a stand and point out that the other children's intolerance of him at school is not their fault, but he knows where they learned it from: " From you..." (their parents). However, he soon finds out that Callie has a new boyfriend and is extremely upset by this. He also feels slightly pushed out because of JR and their new home, and decides to leave Pittsburgh as he does not feel like part of the family. Ben and Michael are very worried about their son, Ben in particular, was outwardly distraught and upset (even beginning to smoke again) feeling more bond with him as they shared the same “blood” being HIV positive. Finally, they receive an E-mail from Hunter, telling them that he is OK.
After Michael is hurt in the bombing, a worried Hunter returns home. After a chat with Debbie, he decides to stay for good. He reveals that he hitched to Florida, and got a job at Disney world as one of Snow White's seven Dwarfs. But when his jobs asks him to return, Ben and Deb convince Hunter to quit that job and asked to return to Pittsburgh and Deb offers him a job at the diner as a busboy, and with further encouragement from Debbie, he decides to go back to school.
In his last scene, Hunter is working at the diner when Ben and Michael call him over and tell him he passed all his subjects. They then hand him a journal with the letters 'H.N.B' inscribed on it. Ben explains that they are his initals, Hunter Novotny-Bruckner, if he wants them to be. Writing in his diary, Hunter says; "Today Ben and Michael asked me to be their real son. I said yes.". They all hug happily. However, his adoption is subject to Proposition 14 not being passed.
Hunter become Ben's adoptive son. From the beginning, Ben shown particular paternal interest and compassion towards Hunter. When he found out Hunter was also HIV positive, he felt a stronger connection. While both Michael and Ben come to care greatly for him, Ben cares for him slightly more than Michael due to the fact he is HIV positive like him referring to him saying "he is my blood". He comes to love Hunter as though he fathered him at a young age as his own biological son.
His younger adoptive father. At first, Michael is very unwilling to take him in, but as he sees Ben take a bond to him, he relents and they let him stay. Due to his prior relationship with David and how good he was with Hank, he is more confident on caring for children. He has made sacrifices for Hunter for the sake of his well being, but also knows how to balance keeping a firm hand on him and spoiling him due to Michael keeping a healthy degree of his youth. Michael is possibly one of the most grounded figures of his life. Where he is his second father, he is the parent that has more of the mothering traits that Hunter needs growing up.
- Main article: Callie and Hunter
His adoptive grandmother. She becomes key in him finally deciding to stay in the final episodes.
His Estranged Mother. She appears looking for him, and she claims that she had given him up for adoption due to a tumultuous marriage and for fear that she wouldn't have been able to raise her son on her low income, but would now be capable to do so. Turns out, she would abuse Hunter and make him "work for his keep". She ends up losing custody of him due to homophobic remarks said by her at the custody hearing in front of the judge.
At first, he attempts to rival Justin for Brian Kinney.
Hunter comes across them while at a bar, and tells Justin to get lost when trying to seduce Brian. Brian gets Hunter to leave, and Justin makes the comment "fucking teenagers" implying he is 20, and no longer a teenager. Their one-sided rivalry is continued when he gives Brian the cop's semen and sees that Justin is in his apartment.
Later, they seem to be on better terms, however, while they were both rebellious and more independent as teenagers, Hunter is more extreme and rebellious. Justin is more an artsy type and has more class while Hunter is more an athletic type and more rugged, and they possess vastly different opinions regarding capital punishment amongst other things.
- "Wanna Fuck?" - to Brian
- He is portrayed by Harris Allan.
- He enjoys comics as much as Michael Novotny.
- He is a swimmer while in High School, and also has a swimmer build like Justin and Emmett.
- He got a job at Disneyland as one of the dwarfs.
- He becomes a Busboy, hired by Debbie Novotny, in the Liberty Diner.
- He would be approximately the same age as Hank Cameron, David’s son, whom would've been approximately 15 by the time of Season 3.
- Hunter ends the series being 17, the same age Justin was originally debuting the series and about to graduate high school.
- However, he is nearly the complete opposite of Justin's character whom is approximately 4.5 years older than Hunter.
- He should be closer to being 18 years old towards the end of the series.