LGBTQ history mini-series “When We Rise” premieres tonight on ABC

When We Rise, a four-part mini-series, will be shown 9-11 p.m. EST (8-11 CST) Monday, February 27, and March 1, 2 and 3 on ABC channels.

According to, “When We Rise was written and created by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black. This mini-series event chronicles the real-life personal and political struggles, set-backs and triumphs of a diverse family of LGBT men and women who helped pioneer one of the last legs of the U.S. Civil Rights movement, from its turbulent infancy in the 20th century to the once unfathomable successes of today.

“Starring in the mini-series are Guy Pearce (Memento, L.A. Confidential) as LGBT activist Cleve Jones, Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds, Angels in America) as women's rights leader Roma Guy, Rachel Griffiths (Brothers and Sisters, Six Feet Under) as her wife, social justice activist Diane, Michael K. Williams (Boardwalk Empire, The Wire) as African-American community organizer Ken Jones and Ivory Aquino as transgender-activist Cecilia Chung.

“Joining the previously-mentioned cast are Austin McKenzie (Spring Awakening) as Younger Cleve Jones, Emily Skeggs (Fun Home) as Younger Roma Guy, newcomer Jonathan Majors as Younger Ken Jones, and Fiona Dourif (The Master) as Younger Diane. 

“Cleve Jones, a young Quaker from Arizona, joined the gay liberation movement in 1972, was mentored by pioneer gay-rights leader Harvey Milk, founded the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, and led the National March for Equality in 2009.  

“Ken Jones, an African-American Vietnam veteran, joined the gay-liberation movement in San Francisco, only to discover and confront racism within the gay men's community. For years he organized services for homeless youth, worked to diversify the gay movement, and led efforts to confront the devastation of the AIDS epidemic. 

“From rural Maine, Roma Guy is a lesbian and a long-time social justice leader who co-founded the San Francisco Women's Building. Then, as a Public Health Commissioner, she worked with others to bring healthcare access to all San Franciscans. She is currently a criminal-justice activist.

“Diane, a lesbian mother and grandmother of three, joined the Women's Movement in the 1970s in San Francisco, co-founded the Women's Building and has worked as an HIV/AIDS nurse and social justice activist at San Francisco General Hospital for 33 years.

When We Rise is executive produced by the Dustin Lance Black (Milk, Big Love, J. Edgar), Gus Van Sant (Milk, Elephant, Good Will Hunting), Laurence Mark (Julie & Julia, Dreamgirls, I, Robot, Jerry Maguire) and Bruce Cohen (American Beauty, Milk, Silver Linings Playbook). Van Sant directs the two-hour premiere of the eight-hour mini-series event. When We Rise is produced by ABC Studios.”

When We Rise, a four-part mini-series, will be shown 9-11 p.m. EST (8-11 CST) Monday, February 27, and March 1, 2 and 3 on ABC channels.

The Gayly – February 27, 2017 @ 3:20 p.m.