A scene from “When we rise” | ABC Television | 17038
“When we rise” is a four part television series made for American television by film producer Dustin Lance Black for ABC television, which was commissioned by ABC in 2012. When We Rise” is a 50-year history of the gay rights movement told through four characters who suffer — and often triumph over — family rejection, landlord discrimination, gay-bashing, police harassment, legislative defeats and AIDS.
The New York Times notes:
“We’ve reached the stage in the L.G.B.T. movement when a network not only feels comfortable taking this on — but doing so in a big way,” said Eric Marcus, a gay historian who produces the Making Gay History podcast and is preparing his own multipart documentary on the movement.
Torie Osborn, a longtime gay and lesbian rights leader who was active in San Francisco during struggles depicted in the movie, said, “I hope this is a moment for our allies to learn about our history and young gay men and lesbians to learn about their history.”
“This is a story that could have been told before,” she said, adding: “Better late than never.”
San Francisco, 1983 | Bettman/Getty Images | 17039
Mr. Black focuses largely on San Francisco. New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington, Minneapolis and other cities also played parts in the American gay story.
The four characters who form the frame of Mr. Black’s story are Cleve Jones, Roma Guy, Richard Socarides, and Dr. Charles W. Socarides, who helped to have homosexuality declassified as a mental illness.
Dustin Lance Black | Andrew Testa/The New York Times | 17040
Mr. Black said that if he had learned anything from this work, it is that the gay rights movement is a story of triumphs followed by setbacks. Mr. Trump’s election, he said, is just another turn in this road.
“We are in a period of backlash right now,” he said. “I would give anything for this to be less topical. But this series shows our history is a pendulum, not a straight line.”