You might’ve heard about the new mini-series on ABC called When We Rise. When We Rise is about the gay rights movement that took place in San Francisco around the sixties, seventies and eighties. The first episode aired on Monday and, in my opinion, it’s some of the best LGBTQ representation currently in the mainstream media. It showcases the many difficulties that the LGBTQ community went through to get where it is currently.
In a world where realistic LGBTQ representation in the media is few and far between, When We Rise is ridiculously important. The characters actually seem believable and have relatable problems – like coming out to religious parents and self discovery. In mainstream media these pivotal parts in a young person’s life are often overlooked.
One scene which especially spoke to me, was the scene when a young man named Cleve came out to his dad. His dad is, to say the least, unaccepting. In fact, he claims that homosexuality is a mental illness and can be cured through therapy. Unfortunately, this is a reality many young LGBTQ people have to face. Unaccepting friends and family are hard to deal with when coming out and seeing a story that represents that struggle is important.
After watching the first part of the series I’ve learned more about the gay rights movement than I have about it in all of my years of school. The stories and characters in When We Rise are largely based on real people and events, therefore it has an educational aspect. A lot of schools don’t teach LGBTQ history at all, resulting in a generation of uneducated kids. By watching this show I have gained a greater understanding for the struggles that the LGBTQ community faced less than 50 years ago.
The stories told through When We Rise are unique, touching, and educational. On top of all of that, the acting, directing, and writing were impeccable. The show is beautifully done with powerful message that resonates deep with in the hearts of viewers. I’m beyond excited to see where this show goes and the impact it makes.