Amid growing political tensions following the rise of a presidential administration whose members have supported anti-LGBT policies in the past, ABC has premiered the new trailer for its upcoming limited series When We Rise, which highlights the history of the gay rights movement across several decades of history.

Written by Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black (Milk), When We Rise charts the rise of the fight for LGBT rights in the U.S., beginning in 1971 through the contemporary push for marriage equality. Black is also credited as a director on several episodes of the program, as is executive producer Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting), television helmer Thomas Schlamme (The West Wing, The Americans), and prominent LGBT filmmaker Dee Rees (Pariah, Bessie).

The project’s cast includes Guy Pearce as activist Cleve Jones, who also wrote a book titled When We Rise (though the series is not adapted from it), Whoopi Goldberg as Pat Norman, the first openly gay employee of the San Francisco Health Department, Rosie O’Donnell as Del Martin, one of the founders of the nation’s first lesbian organization, Mary Louise Parker as women’s rights champion Roma Guy, and Rachel Griffiths as Guy’s wife (and social justice activist), Diane.

“This is much bigger than you realize,” Goldberg, speaking on the importance of fighting for equality, says in the clip, as scenes recreating riots on the streets, instances of gay bashing, and peaceful protests follow. “You all have to get yourselves together. This is everybody’s issue.”

When We Rise premieres in February on ABC. Watch the mini-series’ first trailer above.

Episode Recaps

When We Rise
  • TV Show