Opinion on “When We Rise” miniseries


“When We Rise” is a miniseries that tells stories from members of the LGBTQIA+ community. The series premiered on ABC on Feb. 27.

Emily Badger

When ABC’s new miniseries “When We Rise” launched on Feb. 27, to say I was excited is an understatement.

Rarely do movies and TV shows depict as broad a cast of dynamic, intersectional LGBTQIA+ characters, so seeing a story told through multiple perspectives is refreshing and invigorating.

The miniseries illustrates the triumphs and tribulations faced by the LGBTQIA+ community from the 1970s to near-present day.

Events such as the women’s liberation, Proposition 6, the AIDS crisis and the fight for gay marriage are experienced through real-life activists Roma Guy (Emily Skeggs/Mary-Louise Parker), Cleave Jones (Austin P. McKenzie/Guy Pearce) and Ken Jones (Jonathan Majors/Michael K. Williams). Actresses/activists Rosie O’Donnell and Whoopi Goldberg also make appearances.

The series follows the San Francisco activists from their teen years to adulthood in an honest, raw way. Unlike the usual glamorized drama seen on TV, “When We Rise” relentlessly displays the tragedy and ugly fights in and outside the queer community.

While it is great to see the stories of people like me being told, I get the sense that “When We Rise” was intended to aire alongside Hillary Clinton, had she won the election, as an anthem for LGBTQIA+ people: this is what we went through, and now we transcend.

With Trump in office, however, and the recent situation regarding transgender students using the bathroom in schools, the miniseries is a sad reminder that there are still battles that need to be fought.

Nevertheless, “When We Rise” instills some sort of hope that despite the prejudices the LGBTQIA+ faces, through love, determination and the wave of a rainbow flag, we will continue to go above whatever tries to bring us down.