ABC’s ‘When We Rise’ Offers Emotional Look at LGBT Rights Struggle

by Devon Thomas  |  11.21.2016

ABC offers up a first look of When We Rise, a mini-series event chronicling the “real life struggles” of the LGBT movement in the United States, “inspired by real families’ stories” and premieres February 2017.

The mini-series captures the personal and political struggles, setbacks and triumphs of a diverse family of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) men and women. The period piece, tells the history of the gay-rights movement, starting with the Stonewall Riots in 1969.

When We Rise stars Guy Pearce as Cleve Jones, Mary-Louise Parker as activist Roma Guy and Rachel Griffiths as her wife Diane. Guest stars include Whoopi Goldberg as Pat Norman, the first openly gay employee of the San Francisco Health Department; Rosie O’Donnell as Del Martin and David Hyde Pierce as Dr. Jones.

The background music throughout the emotional two-minute promo is a cover of Leonard Cohen’s classic civil rights-era protest anthem “Hallelujah,” interspersed with scenes from the mini-series.

The head writer of the mini-series is Dustin Lance Black, who won an Academy Award for the 2008 film Milk, which chronicled the life of the late, openly gay 1970s politician Harvey Milk.

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