Justin Taylor is a main character in every season of the Showtime drama series Queer as Folk. Justin spent most of the series as the partner of Brian Kinney. He is also the newest and youngest of Michael's group of friends.
Justin Taylor is a high school student, 17 years of age, at St. James Academy, a private school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His father, Craig Taylor, owns an electronics business called Taylor Electronics, and his mother, Jennifer, is going to school to be a real estate agent. Justin's parents struggle to come to terms with their son's homosexuality. His father kicks him out of the house, and Justin remains estranged from his father for the rest of the series. While his mother Jennifer takes a little time to understand her son, after several months, she becomes supportive of Justin and becomes involved in PFLAG. Justin is teased by many of the male students at his school who suspect he is gay, and he spends most of his time with his neighbor and best friend Daphne Chanders. He excels at school and desires to be an artist. After meeting Brian Kinney, Justin is brought into Brian's circle of friends, with Michael Novotny's mother, Debbie Novotny, soon treating Justin as another son. Justin appreciates romance and aspires to be monogamous with Brian; in later seasons, he mentions wanting to get married and have a family. Justin attends the Pittsburgh Institute of Fine Arts and works on the Rage comic book with Michael Novotny.
He is a quick witted, resourceful and tenacious, yet handsome teenager (later young adult). He is approximately 5'8 with a classic twink build, but poster-boy image. He is known as "sunshine" named by Debbie because of his bright facial features especially when smiling. Physically, his apparel and hairstyle changes due to phases he goes through in the series. At one point grows his hair to express his appearance as an artist, and then cuts it off to show more masculinity in season four with the Pink Posse.
He has many facets to his personality. In determination, he is tenacious and observant, but when happy, he is quirky, charismatic and known for his bright smile. He is intellectual enough to come back with sarcastic remarks to various others in the series. In times of concern, he is often a voice of innocence and reason; especially in the later seasons and mostly for the better half of Brian. Justin intentions are generally good, However, there are times he shows his darker side comes out and it comes from a certain oppression he faces and overcomes in the LGBTQ world. His temper goes from 0-100 quickly when frustrated due to his determination.
Throughout the Series
Brian meets Justin, a virgin, outside of Babylon, and takes him home to have with him. Justin is responsible for naming Gus, Brian and Lindsay's biological son. After their encounter, Justin falls in love with Brian going as far as to tell his friend Daphne "I saw the face of God," and eventually gets Brian to have sex with him again, breaking Brian's own rule of not having sex with the same person more than once. This causes Brian's best friend Michael to become jealous and act subtly hostile towards Justin while ultimately befriending him into the group.
After Brian rebuffs Justin, he confides in Daphne whom tells him that she just went out and got a new boyfriend which made her ex completely jealous. She tells him "You're not exactly a troll, you know?" Justin takes her advice and goes out to the club, Babylon, accompanied by her and not only does he get his attention, but also gets the attention of people he pursuits. As they try to dance with Justin, Brian pushes his pursuers away has Justin to himself which he dances and then takes Justin home to be more intimate. In class, Justin's teacher asks what the definition of "yearning" is, and Justin gives his definition which catches the attention of Chris Hobbs. Chris starts acting up in class by pestering another male student (possibly to divert the conversation from going to deep to the sexual undertone he was thinking) and ends up getting detention. Justin visits him in detention and the two begin to bond. Despite their conversation being about girls, Chris has a lingering eye on Justin. Chris begins a conversation of his sexual encounter with a girl, and gets an erection and seductive tone enticing Justin. Justin masturbates him, and he doesn't stop him and enjoys it before their teacher walks in wondering why he isn't cleaning.
Brian continues to rebuffs him, but yet, gives signal to Justin showing he cares more beyond his shallow actions. Justin gets a nipple piercing accompanied by Daphne. He gets harassed by Chris Hobbs about the piercing saying he really is queer and Justin fights him back. Later, at home, his father accusing him of flaunting himself around school and doesn't stand up for him when he was sexually harassed and Justin states that he will not go to another private school, and he will always be his queer son, and runs off to find Brian.
His father ramps Brian, and later assaults him leading Justin to tell him he will not return home. Justin stays with Brian. he attempts to cook Brian dinner, but Brian brings a male visitor for the south to his disappointment. This particular hookup of Brian's gives Justin cooking tips on Jambalaya. After initially leaving, Brian comes home to a clean loft and a refine Jambalaya meal from Justin. Brian says it's good when tasting it. Justin looks over at Brian enjoying the food knowing he is winning him over.
After the issues with Justin's father, and kicking him out, they have conversations about their fathers revealing Brian never told his father about his sexuality. Beyond Justin's knowledge, he went to go see his father later on.
Brian kicks Justin out, and not knowing where he will end up, he runs away to New York. Daphne goes to the gang and tells them he has ran away. The gang goes to New York in search of Justin. Brian finds him in a hotel having tracked the use of his credit card. Justin and Brian become intimate in the hotel room and they bring him back to Pittsburgh. With his mother's consent, she allows Debbie to provide housing for Justin adjusting to his life as a young gay man. Debbie also hires him at the Liberty Diner to work off his dues for spending Brian's money on the credit card.
When Brian and Michael aren't speaking due to the scandal at Michael's 30th Birthday party, Justin gets involved. Brian invites him to hang out for the first time while at the diner with Daphne. Realizing it was the first time, they wonder what it means and he instantly knows when Michael walks in the door; his misses Michael. Justin gets their orders wrong on purpose in an attempt to get them to talk but it doesn't work. Later, He tracks Michael down and gives him the comic saying the Brian loves him and that was his way of saying "goodbye" and giving him to David Cameron.
When Brian has sex with a subordinate worker, named Kip, at his firm, he files a lawsuit against Brian trying to blackmail him for a promotion. Justin hears of this, and using his final days of being seventeen years old, chased Kip until he enticed him into oral sex. Justin uses true facts about his father going crazy on a man he told about his sexual affairs (referring to Brian), however, he twists the facts. Kip gets worried thinking it will get out that he was with a minor, and Justin cleverly uses this to his advantage by bribing him not to press charges against Brian.
Following Justin saving Brian from the lawsuit, he has his eighteenth birthday and begins looking into colleges. He also helps Brian babysit Gus since Melanie and Lindsay have fallen out and didn't have other arrangements during their discord.
Justin and Daphne witness Hobbs picking on a introverted kid calling him queer and Justin stands up for him. his instructor, Mr. Dixon, stops the commotion, but places the blame on Justin for it. When calling attendance, when Justin names is announced, Hobbs shouts "Queer!" which makes the class laugh. Justin brings that to his teacher's attention only to have blatantly ignore Hobb's homophobic comment. Justin confronts him on it, and Mr. Dixon threatens to suspend him. Justin angrily shouts, "Well, this queer says "Fuck you!" as he leaves and goes to the principals office.
Justin and Daphne attempt to start a gay-straight alliance at his school, only to have Mr. Dixon shut it down. The bullying continues with Justin as the burned his locker at school and cruelly taunt him.
Hobbs and his buddies run into Justin and the gang on Liberty Avenue one evening. Hobbs tries to taunt him, but Justin angry about the trouble at school and that he caused him generally exposes Hobbs secret with him when he was in detention. He reveals to anyone witnessing on Liberty Avenue that he left him masturbate him and he enjoyed. Hobbs lefts embarrassed and humiliated saying the Justin was fucked. Their was applause from local LGBTQ community with Ted and Emmett supporting him, but Brian tells him that he has gained a REAL enemy.
His mother goes to the school and speaks to the principal only to have excuses made to her and offensive analogies recited to her which she firmly stands up against. Luckily, through David's party, he met the senator who spoke publicly addressing the injustice of him not being about to start a gay-straight alliance club at his school to the dismay of school officials.
Due to Justin's surrounding circumstances to growing up, and true colors coming out, his parents are at opposition. They divorce saddening Justin. Justin starts to make decisions attempting to appease his parents, but Brian and Debbie's talk sense into him saying that he has to live for himself and not make decisions based on his parents. he decides that Pittsburgh institution of Fine Arts is where he want to go instead of Dartmouth University.
Justin tries a number of things to get Brian to love him back, including competing in (and winning) the "King of Babylon" contest, stealing one of Brian's tricks, dancing with guys Brian is interested in, and asking Brian to the prom, among other things.
In the Season One Finale, despite initially turning Justin down, Brian shows up at Justin's prom and dances with him, kissing him in front of everybody. After Brian and Justin share a dance and kiss while on the dance floor at the prom, they walk out to Brian's jeep. They reminisce of the previous events of the prom and then share a kiss. Justin described it as "the best night of [his] life." Unbeknownst to them, Chris had followed them to the parking garage. When Brian and Justin parted ways, Chris, a fellow student, follows Justin while he walks away with a baseball bat. Brian notices Chris too late and he swings and hits Justin in the head with the bat. Justin suffers resulting in a two week-long coma, trauma, and brain damage that causes limited use of his hand. Chris's only punishment is community service. This event has impacted his life immensely and its effects are seen throughout the series.
Justin is hospitalized for nearly 6 months, but graduates St. James Academy with his class and is accepted to Dartmouth College, but opts to go to the Pittsburgh Institute of Fine Arts to pursue his dreams.
Justin spends the first of the series recovering and having nightmares and flashbacks. The gang attempt to help him cope, especially Brian. The doctors would tell his mother that there was a determination that drove him to recover quicker. Once Justin was discharged, he made his way to Liberty Avenue looking for Brian and the gang. Despite His mother knowing Brian was there and grateful of him, she asked for him not to see Justin again. This infuriated Justin into a rage which herself and his sister witnessed. Jennifer finally agrees via Debbie's advice for him to go to someone he trust if she wants to see him remotely resemble the guy he once was. She asked Brian to take him.
Debbie pushes Justin to go to his first pride alongside his mother. Justin and Emmett talk about Godiva and he explains about his history with Godiva. When Godiva passes away, he goes with Emmett as support. When Emmett needs time along, he walks outside to see Chris Hobbs mopping the floor for his community service. Chris harasses Justin again before he leaves. Despite Justin coping with his trauma, he manages to be brave and march in Pride 2002 with his mother.
With Justin's diminished use of his drawing hand, he has trouble in his art class which his instructors take notice of. Brian gets a drawing computer for Justin to use, and he continues his fine arts undergraduate degree at PIFA.
Just when Justin thinks they've become exclusive, Brian continued to bring company for no string attached sex disappointing Justin. Justin asks him why he ultimately has him at his place. Brian tells him his injuring was the reason he's there, but not the reason he wants him to stay. They become partners under conditions of each other to which they have a semi "open relationship".
His mother takes him shopping having been successful in selling houses, and they arrive at Brian's loft right after he hooks up with a guy. Justin kisses him, but can sense he's been with someone. After his mother leaves, he asks how he was and guesses his attributes. Justin reluctantly goes to Daphne's party. He meets this college nerd and he takes his virginity. Despite the rules that him and Brian have in their partnership, he kissed him only because he wanted him to have a good first experience. In the morning, Brian senses the guy he was with at the party and predicted accurately that Justin kissed him as well. The guy shows up at Liberty Diner only to be rebuffed by Justin much like how Brian rebuffed him a year prior.
He experiences financial trouble when his father refuses to pay for his tuition.He resorts to becoming a go-go dancer at Babylon, despite Brian's repeated offers to help him out financially. Justin's new job takes its toll on him, the night shift causing him to lack energy during the daytime. After a disastrous experience at a party he was forced to accompany his boss to, where a number of men tried to rape him, he finally quits his job and accepts Brian's financial assistance.
Brian's friend Michael Novotny suggest to Justin to make a new comic since Michael knows good narrative and Justin is an expert artist. Together, they create a gay superhero comic called Rage, with stories often based on their own lives. This initially makes Brian very jealous to destroy their work one more. Justin and Michael scold Brian at the diner in front of Debbie and leave. Debbie enlightens Brian that they worship the ground he walks on, and they HE IS the hero. Brian apologizes and endorses their work ultimately.
After countless tries to get Brian to reveal his true feelings for him. Despite Brian paying for his tuition, and showing his love in a different way, it wasn't all Justin continues to see him around school with Daphne and the flirting continues. Michael even witnesses his actual cheating on Brian and informs him, betraying Justin.
During the debut of Rage at Babylon with the gang, he sees Brian having with the actor playing Rage making his decision easier. Justin decides to leave Brian for a new guy. He starts living with Ethan to mark the end of the second series.
Justin introduces to his mother which she is delighted to meet someone his own age. After she leaves, he attempts to figure a way to pay for school, He attempts to go to his father and ask for assistance. After his father constantly bringing up negative topics of discussion, Justin decides to find another way to get help. He finds out Brian is continuing to pay for his education saying "a deal's a deal." Later, he goes to Michael with a suggestion for their new comic. When Michael asks why he changed his mind, he said what Brian said, "A deal's a deal."
Justin enjoys Ethan and they share much in common being artist, however, Justin didn't like his friends much as they were snotty and pretentious. earlier in the day, Brian invited them both to the raffle for fundraising. Justin ends up ditching and his friends and goes to Babylon for a raffle that Brian is holding for The Center.
The second time, while he is still with Ethan, he makes Brian's nephew tell the truth about whether or not he had molested him. Justin find out where Brian's nephew hangs out. Justin, now 19, is still able to use his youth to his advantage by smooth talking Brian's nephew. He notices Brian's bracelet on his arm and simply remarks "nice bracelet" and walks away. he has informed Carl Horvath, Debbie Novotny, and Claire Kinney of John's deception about his uncle. Justin takes his bracelet and gives it to the rightful owner. While there is still romantic tension between them, they salute each other towards their separate ways.
Justin and Daphne go to the apartment to find Ethan interviewing with a lady. Ethan introduces them as his cousin and his cousin's girlfriend, greatly upsetting Daphne before asking them to come back another time. Daphne vents to Justin before demanding her to mind her own business even though he was upset himself. He asks Ethan if it will be like that all the time, and he said he will be the only one he plays for. he evens buys them promise rings so they can be together even when apart.
Justin drives down to see him perform and just as he is about to approach Ethan, he sees a fan go up and talk to him. He watches as it seems amorous. Justin looks at them sadly as they leave together. After Ethan returns home, he asks him about the guy and Ethan deems him jealous and that he was just trying to pick his brain. Later, at their place, the fan comes by with red roses showing that Ethan did in fact cheat with the fan. Justin is furious of the fact that Ethan broke his promise. He destroys the roses, slams the promise ring on the table, breaks up with him and leaves. After he leaves Ethan, he stays with Daphne as her new roommate. Daphne goes crazy with Justin's depression and consoles him. She tells him to go get Brian back if he still loves him. Justin takes Daphne's advice and tries to win Brian back by getting a placement at Brian's advertisement agency. After a few tense weeks, Justin finally manages to seduce Brian once more in his office late one night. This sparks them to reconcile and continue their relationship.
Justin and Michael finally speak after Michael makes a comment on "Life imitating Art" and Justin confides in him saying that Brian loved him, but just not in the way he expected him to. Justin confides in Michael when talking about their comic saying he was right: Brian does love him, but just has a different way of showing it.
Justin goes with Brian, dressed as a hustler, to attempt to find Jason Kemp's murderer. Hunter meets them there and has a "love-rivalry" with Justin. Brian lures Jim Stockwell to give presentation at the center where Justin and some of the gang inquire about hate crimes that him and police have not solved.
Brian and Justin are found by Jim Stockwell at his place on night. Justin drops out of college after a disagreement with the head of the internship program after it is discovered that he has been having sexual relations with his boss, Brian, and sabotaging Jim Stockwell's ad campaign. Justin mainly refused to apologize to Jim because he feels he would rather see him dead than have any rights which he feels he has the right to exercise; his artwork being his speech.
Justin along with Brian attempt to take Emmett's mind off of Ted by being him a cosmopolitan and dancing with him.
Justin comforts Darren after his bashing and urges him to fight back and identify his attacks. When Darren ask him what he did about his basher, he thinks back to when he did nothing about Chris Hobbs. Brian tries to comfort him, but he's angry that he didn't do anything about Chris.
He meets Cody Bell, the leader of the Pink Posse as an LGBT vigilante group, whom is giving the suggestion to "fight back" at a meeting hosted by Melanie Marcus and Ben Bruckner in responses to Darren's bashing, and future preventative action. At first, regarding Justin as Meg Ryan in underestimation, Justin makes his statement and gains Cody's respect as well as others at the table.
With nothing really offensively happening, Justin and Cody provoke them by homosexual behavior in the normal streets of Pittsburgh. They attack this white male whom says something that triggers Justin. Another day, they do the same to this straight couple which they make homophobic remarks and they intimidate them with a gun and make them apologize. Despite Brian's warnings, Justin continues to associate himself with the group. Justin cuts his hair to fit the profile of a Pink Posse member.
Cody take Justin to a gun range. He tells him the key he uses to get a bull's eye on the target: Imagining the people that abused him when he was younger. Justin shoot a bull's eye on the target and Cody wonder's who he thought of when shooting. When they take the target home, he asks who he was thinking about and Daphne mentions Chris Hobbs and what happened in high school. Later, Cody find out he works at a construction site.
Cody take Justin to the construction to confront him. They briefly encounter him and he mocks them both calling them "faggots" before he walks off back to work. They stand there unsure how to approach him. They approach him once more went he is home from work and Cody demands that he apologize to him for bashing him two years ago. Chris mocks and refuses. Angrily, Justin pulls out Cody's gun and shouts, "Don't fuck with me!" Justin make him get on his knees, apologize and suck the pistol. Just when he was about to consider pulling the trigger, possibly killing Hobbs, he tells him to get up and go inside and not call the police saying the a few homosexuals didn't pull the trigger. Cody is angry that Justin let him get away and didn't kill him.
Justin and Brian have a small disagreement about Ibiza, and then Brian goes somewhere else instead unknown to Justin. While Brian is taking a shower, Justin overhears a voicemail from Brian's answering machine from a doctor specializing in cancer which alerts him. Justin tells Michael which they swore not to let them know that they know about his condition. Michael slips and starts getting emotional when they hang out. Justin comes back to the loft to be thrown out by Brian.
Justin is angry at Michael having told him what they agreed they wouldn't tell him. Unknown to Justin, Michael stands up for Justin to Brian saying it was a shitty thing to do to him considering Justin is his lover and cares for him. Michael convinces Justin that it's a typical move of Brian to not want people know when he is vulnerable and convinces him to get Brian back. Brian, having been sent home by Ted, comes home to see Justin cooking for him. Brian attempts to rid of Justin, but Justin stands up to him and curses him out saying this is "the least" of his imperfections and if he wanted to leave him he had plenty. He scolds him to get in the bed and eat some of the chicken soup he made for him.
Justin and Ted attempt to talk Brian out of riding due to his issues of having cancer prior. Brian remains defiant to both of them, and Justin cautiously supports him and intends to accompany him on the ride until he is asked by Brett Keller, due to the success of his comic with Michael, to represent as he is the artist and they "will believe picture more than words" as started by the director himself. Justin goes to Hollywood for his first time and experiences blissful scenes. He amorously meets Conner James who accepts the role in their movie to play Rage. Justin and Brett manage to convince the power of rage and initially get the green light for work. Justin accepts Brett's offer to be his Assistant Art Director.
Justin makes it back to Pittsburgh to see Brian still make it back to Pittsburgh despite being injured. Despite accepting Brian's offer to move back in with him, he allows Justin to continue developing his career in film and art making rage. He departs for Los Angeles again to work on the film.
During the fifth and final season, Brian and Justin's relationship becomes more unstable.
Justin and Brian keep in touch while he is away in Hollywood. Justin tells him that if things continue the way they are going, they will make a sequel called "The Son of Rage". Justin says he misses him. Brian is hides his sadness, but tells Justin to have a good time and not thing about anything else. Justin knows Brian is in dismay of absence despite not saying so.
Justin works on a movie version of "Rage" but the project is canceled. Justin comes back to Brian's loft as Brian has a trick over, and a smile comes to his face knowing he's still the same Brian he adores. Later, Justin talks to the gang about the how fun, but "cut throat" the Los Angeles scene is. Justin watches the gang, particularly how happy Michael and Ben are in their house, and hints of sadness comes to his face as he thinks about his wish to be an exclusive couple with Brian.
Lindsay lets Justin show more work at her gallery. He is review by a man in New York who admired him and his work.
While Justin and Daphne babysit JR while Michael and Ben are away, they talk about kids. Daphne asks if they ever consider one. Justin says that Brian won't even get a puppy. They talk about their love endeavours and Justin brings up they may have an issue of an STD. Daphne expresses how she feels and hopes they become exclusive to be more careful in exposure. This conversation makes Justin think back to what he originally wanted from Brian when they first met: to be partners or married.
Justin creates a comic with JT finally marrying Rage implying he wishes art could imitate life. While working on the comic, Brian comes home and Justin indirectly asks him about love and romance, and Brian indirectly refuses to talk about it. Justin finishes the comic with Rage saying "Never" to the proposal much like Brian refusing to talk about the subject of exclusiveness.
Justin finishes the comic and the gang, and various people of the local community are famished by the new material Justin has introduced. Michael tells Justin he will have issues at his housewarming. Justin and Brian come to the housewarming and when the book is introduced to the party, Brian is overcome with cruel opinions of it, and even throwing it around carelessly where Justin is saddened of Brian insensitivity towards him, his work and his feelings towards him.
Due to what happened, Justin is direct with Brian when they are talking one night in the loft. Justin tells him he wants to be exclusive, and Brian refuses calmly. Justin, knowing he will refuse, already has packed his bags. Justin, resolved but still loves Brian to hug him goodbye. Brian slowly puts his arms around Justin, and his eyes water slightly; He doesn't want to be an exclusive couple, but doesn't want to be without Justin.
Justin moves in with Michael and Ben causing Brian to be angered more with Michael. Brian comes by drunk, angering Ben, and waking Michael and Justin. Unlike before, Michael not only stands up for himself against Brian, but he stands up for Justin knowing how he feels to be rebuffed in romantic advances with Brian. Michael helps Justin move into his own place. Justin apologizes to Michael as he feels he destroyed their friendship. Michael says he did that on his own by his actions.
Justin helps Debbie and the gang fight against Prop 14. Justin finds out his father is for Prop 14. Justin makes it a point to defy against his father. He goes to his business and at first attempts to reason with him until his father goes on a bigoted spill angering Justin. Justin then calls him a hypocrite and calls him out on infidelity with his mother while he accuses him of breaking of their marriage and family. Justin later directly defies his father in front of the police on his business property and tells them to arrest his son. His mother bails him out of jail with Ben's help and Ben tells her what an awesome person Justin is and he truly doesn't know the blessing he has.
Justin attends Babylon for the stop Prop 14 rally and there is an explosion. Justin makes it out safely, and is founded by Brian. Brian admits he was scared for Justin's life and he at whispers in his ear that he loves him, and then pulls away from him to where Justin can see his face and affirms it again more clearly.
Brian visits Justin at his own place, and he is impressed of how independent and resilient Justin has become on his own. Brian says he was serious about what he told him when he emerged safely, and asked Justin for his hand in marriage. Justin, is shocked and subtly happy, but overcame with reality that Brian posed over the years, and quotes Brian's phrases word perfect. Brian says he changed his mind and still wants to marry Justin. Justin reminds him that he is only scared due to what happened and refuses his proposal. Brian eventually leaves shocked and disappointed, but determined to prove to Justin that things have changed with him.
Brian takes Justin to West Virginia to show them the house he bought. When Justin asked who's it was, he said it was theirs. Brian told him he's the worst candidate for marriage, but that same reason also makes him the best candidate for it as he is 100% behind it. He flatters Justin to watery eyes having sold the loft and Babylon and not knowing what his answer would be. Justin accepts his proposal.
When his mother is showing the loft, Justin comes by with news that he will be marrying Brian. Despite them being at odds concerning Tucker, she quickly forgets that and Jennifer's eyes water immediately in tears of happiness for her son getting married to man she loves. They celebrate and have a slow dance in Brian's loft and share a very tender mother-son moment.
They plan to get married, but as the date draws closer, Justin realizes that Brian is trying to become someone he isn't, just to make Justin happy. Similarly, Brian realizes that Justin is giving up his career as an artist to settle down with him. He knew how important being an artist was to him, so he tells Justin that he should go to New York City to pursue his art career. Neither of them wanted to live with someone who would give up their lives to be with the other. Brian did not really want him to go, but he would not dare stand in the way of him pursuing his dream.
On their last night together before he left for New York, Justin finds that Brian has not returned the wedding rings. He then tells Brian that they don't need wedding rings or vows to prove they love each other. They spent one last beautiful night together and when Brian awoke, Justin was gone. Justin had reassured Brian that they would continue to see each other frequently.
This was not the end of their relationship. They loved each other and would be together. They were soulmates.
Justin Rescues Brian
On more than one occasion, Justin has saved Brian from legal problems.
- The first time, he blackmailed Kip into dropping the sexual harassment lawsuit against Brian. Justin, using his final days of being seventeen years old, chased Kip until he enticed him into oral sex. Justin uses true facts about his father going crazy on a man he told about his sexual affairs (referring to Brian), however, he twists the facts. Kip gets worried thinking it will get out that he was with a minor, and Justin cleverly uses this to his advantage by bribing him not to press charges against Brian.
- The second time, while he is still with Ethan, he makes Brian's nephew tell the truth about whether or not he had molested him. Justin find out where Brian's nephew hangs out. Justin, now 19, is still able to use his youth to his advantage by smooth talking Brian's nephew. He notices Brian's bracelet on his arm and simply remarks "nice bracelet" and walks away. he has informed Carl Horvath, Debbie Novotny, and Claire Kinney of John's deception about his uncle. Justin takes his bracelet and gives it to the rightful owner. While there is still romantic tension between them, they salute each other towards their separate ways.
- Main article: Brian and Justin
They come to share one of the most significant relationships in the entire series. Originally, Brian found Justin annoying, but over time developed genuine feelings for him.
During the first season, his relationship with Justin is unclear. Brian hates the idea of couples but breaks his own rules for Justin, unable to resist the pull he feels towards him. He takes care of him in different ways: letting him move into his loft after Justin's kicked out of his parents' home, going after him to NYC after he runs away, advising him on school situations -- thus over and over, disproving his own verbal declarations of not wanting him around through his actions.
Brian came to Justin’s prom and shared a slow dance. He visited a shrink to help discover how to help Justin heal emotionally from his attack. When Justin’s father kicked him out of the house for being gay, Brian immediately called his father out for his hateful words and offered Justin a place to stay.
In the series finale, Brian asked Justin to marry him and took a chance on love by selling his loft and nightclub without knowing what Justin’s answer would be. Brian later told Justin to follow his dreams and pursue a successful art career in New York even though he wanted him to stay, having finally found true love, Brian chose to put Justin’s needs before his own.
As mother and son, they share that tenacious trait. As tenacious as Justin was to find his place in the LGBTQ community in Pittsburgh, she was just as determined to follow her son and see him through to his happiness. Throughout the series, they form a stronger bond as she endures challenges trying to reach him in his lifestyle.
She ultimately discovered his sexuality early, had to come to terms with it and the effects it had on their family, and witnessed her worst nightmare of him getting bashed. After his bashing and seeing how he can't help who he loves, she fights to further understand his world and what she can do to make him happy in what she understood in time could be a very dark cruel lifestyle.
She knows she succeeds as a parent when she gets the invitation personally for an intended wedding for him and Brian.
In the first season, Michael is jealous of Justin having won the attention and affections of Brian, albeit, he does look out for him as one of his own friends. They start a comic together called "Rage" during the second season which was their foundation for a solid friendship and strong work relationship.
When Justin and Brian split up, Justin started dating Ethan Gold in the later seasons, he was quick to call him out it, Michael tells Justin to get out of their lives. A few years later, Justin informs Michael of his health condition of cancer. Michael confessed to knowing which got Justin in trouble with Brian and ultimately kicked out. Justin throws back in Michael's face saying, "You wanted me gone from the beginning. You finally get your wish, Mikey." This time, Michael yields to Justin and assures him that he knows how Brian is and helps Justin stand up in his love to Brian.
In the final seasons, Justin is staying with Michael and Ben after they split up again since he has no place of his own. Justin listens upstairs to Michael stand up for Justin against Brian bluntly calling him out on him never affirming his love for him nor Justin while also standing up for his own beliefs on a steady household. By this time, Michael and Justin finally have a strong friendship and find they have much in common when it comes to love, romance and steadiness.
Justin and Daphne are neighbors, schoolmates, and best friends since childhood. She claims she could tell Justin was gay and that is why she was not surprised when Justin told her about him and Brian. Much like Brian with Lindsey, they confide in each other the same way and act like siblings.
Debbie plays a strong foundation for his living in the Pittsburgh LGBTQ community. They share not only a great friendship, but a surrogate mother-son bond.
She takes Justin in quickly as one of her boys and she is much like a second mother for when he leaves home for the first time and throughout. She calls him "sunshine" due to his bright features and smile. She houses him in Michael's old room, hires him at her diner as a busboy (later a server). She encourages him to start the gay club at school, as well as encouraging in his artwork saying it's a gift. She is devastated when he is bashed, but relieved when he is alright and helps him adjust at work after he is bashed and telling him to take it easy.
They still remain close well after he moves out of Michael's room and back with Brian assuring him that if he needed a place to stay, she will always have a place for him.
- Main article: Justin and Ethan
She helps him in his pursuit of a career in art as well as with Brian. She has taken him into her care from time to time with the support of Melanie. In return, he also babysits Gus for them on occasions. She believes he exceeds her in talent as she further encourages him to try to gain success in New York.
Emmett is more nurturing towards Justin since the first episode when he is discovering who he is. When he outs Chris Hobbs to the viewers on Liberty Avenue, he says, "You go baby." and kisses him on the side of the head. They share a fun loving friendship where they make light jokes towards each other.
They are at odds at first because of him liking the name "Gus" and disagreeing that Brian should give his parental rights away to her, however, besides these facts, she adores Justin and with Lindsey takes care of him from time to time. She is the quickest to defend him in spite of Brian.
His ally in the Pink Posse.
- Main article: Justin and Chris
At first, Chris is indifferent towards Justin, until they have detention together.
During detention, the begin to share with one another. They start talking sexual and Justin realizes that Chris has an erection and helps him masturbate. Afterwards, Chris bullies Justin possibly feeling violated despite allowing the sexual actions to continue. Chris is responsible for bashing Justin in the finale of the first season.
In the second season, Chris is seen mopping the floor of the hospice by Justin. He harasses Justin again by saying he will end up like the residents. This trigger Justin's trauma from the bashing.
It is hinted that they are not very close, but before Justin acknowledged his preferences, they maintained is distant father-son love.
He is very opposed to his son's sexual preference. When trying to get Justin to move back home, he goes as far as to tell Justin, "You are not to go to gay bars, or talk about your disgusting lifestyle around here, and never to see him again." Justin runs away, and lives with his newfound friends in his new community.
Justin goes to visit him after his mother encourages him to try and ask for his support. he tells Justin her name is Lori and he has been seeing her for about a year after he and Jennifer divorced. Justin shows his artwork to him, to which he seemed very mildly impressed creating an awkward air between them. Justin then asks for tuition assistance. His father, ultimately refused due to Justin saying he can never be straight and go to business school. He calls his father out on not being "proud of him" because he not the man he wants him to be, and then states, "I'm the man I want to be."
Another few years, Justin is aggressive in his demand for equal rights for LGBT rights against the politicians within Pittsburg. He argues with his father about prop 14 refers to him a hypocrite bigot that cheated on his mom. Later, when they hold a rally on his business property, Craig tells police to arrest him despite being his son.
Justin remains estranged from his father for the rest of the series.
- "I need you!" -to Brian
- "Cause I'll still be your queer son." -to his father, Craig
- "Well, I'm the man I want to be." -to his father, Craig
In 2007, Justin was voted number 3 on the list of the top 25 gay television characters of all time by After Ellen's brother site AfterElton.
The site called him "one of television’s most fully realized gay teenaged characters, Justin Taylor was 17 years old when Queer as Folk debuted. Over the five seasons the show ran, he started a Gay-Straight Alliance at his high school, was brutally gay-bashed at his prom, had to learn how to use his right hand again during his first year of art school, created a successful underground gay comic, fought the election of a homophobic mayor, opposed an anti-gay statewide ballot proposition, and achieved acclaim as an artist. Portrayed by out gay actor Randy Harrison, Justin was never one for agonizing over his sexual orientation or struggling with coming out. He may have made a couple of soapy detours through a brief career as a go-go boy and as a member of a gay vigilante group, but Justin Taylor was the first out, proud, and politically active gay teen on American series television."
- Justin is portrayed by Randy Harrison.
- Daphne, his best friend, is the only woman he has had sexual relations with. Like Brian, he has only has sexual relations with one woman.
- He shares the same birthday with Ben Bruckner in the series making him a Pisces.
- Justin is almost 23 years of age by the finale of the series.