Recently a mini-series called "When We Rise" was shown on ABC. This mini-series follows the lives of three LGBTQ activists. The show starts in the 1970s and concludes in 2015. The three main activists that are followed are Cleve Jones, Roma Guy, and Ken Jones. The mini-series shows how hard the LGBTQ community has had to fight for a long time. The creator of the mini-series, Dustin Lance Black, is also a member of the LGBTQ community as he is gay.
The timing of the mini-series showing is impeccable. I know it was not planned this way as "When We Rise" has been slated to be on air around this time, but recently President Trump has been trying to repeal rights on trans-genders. I believe that the timing of everything in the headlines recently and the series being on air is fate. I also believe that this would qualify as a political statement. This is a strong political statement against President Trump.
Over the years the LGBTQ community has had to fight for the same rights as everybody else. One person that was very instrumental in getting rights for the LGBTQ community was Cleve Jones. Cleve had struggled for a long time with the fact that he is gay. Throughout the show, we see him fighting for what he believes in. He faces adversity in everything that he does. He also deals with the loss of four people that are really close to him. They all died from AIDS. Cleve himself is a survivor of AIDS. Cleve fought for presidential recognition from several presidents. President Clinton was the first one that gave any recognition to the LGBTQ community and even then that was very small. It was not until President Obama that the LGBTQ community got what they wanted.
Another person that was instrumental in getting LGBTQ community any rights was Roma Guy. Roma Guy mainly fought for equal health rights but she also fought for marriage equality along with her partner Diane or also known as Deon. Roma wanted everyone to have equal health opportunities so that everyone had an equal chance at survival, this was especially crucial during the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.
Ken Jones was another activist that is profiled in "When We Rise". Ken is a Vietnam veteran and struggled a lot in his life. After he got out of the military, he fell in love and eventually he and his partner were diagnosed with AIDS. His partner later died from the disease. After his partner died he struggled with addiction and was in and out of rehab facilities. He eventually got clean and then continued to fight for rights for the Black LGBTQ community. During this time blacks still struggled to have equal rights and so did the LGBTQ community.
This is just the background of each of these people. These people were instrumental in changing their community. The fight for equal rights culminated in 2015 when the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. The road to this happy ending is shown throughout all four episode of the mini series but the biggest struggle of getting to this end is shown in the fourth episode of the series.
My response to this mini-series is that of pure admiration. These people were able to change the world in a good way. Today, most people in my generation would never do anything this drastic. People will think of it but never act on it. While Dustin Lance Black is not part of my generation, he is still changing the world one film at a time. He is part of the generation between the one these three activists are a part of and the one I am apart of. He is changing how the world sees the LGBTQ community. He is also not afraid to make a political statement and he obviously shows that with this mini series.
If you have time, I suggest you check this mini series out. I learned a lot and it is very interesting.