ABC When We Rise, Series Creator Dustin Lance says, “Progress is possible”

LGBT mini-series premiere, the struggles and triumphs of a diverse family on February 27th, 2017, at 9pm ET/PT on DirecTV

By Gabrielle Pantera

HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Daily Star) 2017/2/27 – “I wanted to meet people who were already involved in other movements,” says When We Rise creator Dustin Lance. . “I didn’t wanted it just to be about the LGBT movement. I wanted it to be about people who fought all the way from their childhood until now I wanted most of them to still be alive because I wanted young people to believe this stories are true. This kind of progress is possible and you can be out and you can fight for equality and you can live and thrive.”


“About four years ago I found out that ABC was interested in doing something about LGBT people,” says Lance. “So I went right away and asked them, would you help me research for about a year who these stories could be about? Let’s find some new stories.”

In When We Rise Guy Pearce is Cleve Jones, a young Quaker from Arizona that joined the gay liberation movement in 1972. He was mentored by pioneer gay-rights leader Harvey Milk, founded the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, and lead the National March for Equality in 2009.

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.

Michael K. Williams is Ken Jones, an African-American Vietnam veteran. He joined the gay-liberation movement in San Francisco, only to discover and confront racism within the gay men’s community. He organized services for homeless youth, worked to diversify the gay movement, and led efforts to confront the devastation of the AIDS epidemic.

Mary-Louise Parker is Roma Guy. She 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.

Rachel Griffiths is Diane, a lesbian mother and grandmother of three that 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.

Due to ABC News’ special report, President Donald Trump’s Address to Congress, taking place on Tuesday, February 28th, the When We Rise air schedule changes and the revised air schedule is as follows:

  • February 27th, 2017  at 9pm ET/PT

When We Rise Premiere

  • February 28th,2017 at 9pm ET/PT

ABC News Special Report: President Donald Trump’s Address to Congress

  • March 1st, 2017  at 9pm ET/PT

When We Rise Parts II and III

  • March 2nd, 2017  at 9pm ET/PT

When We Rise Parts IV and V

  • March 3rd, 2017  at 9pm ET/PT

When We Rise Parts VI and VII

When We Rise stars…

  • Guy Pearce as Cleve Jones
  • Mary-Louise Parker as Roma Guy
  • Rachel Griffiths as Diane
  • Michael K. Williams as Ken Jones
  • Ivory Aquino as Cecilia Chung
  • Austin McKenzie as Younger Cleve Jones
  • Emily Skeggs as Younger Roma Guy
  • Jonathan Majors as Younger Ken Jones
  • Fiona Dourif as Younger Diane

An ABC Studios production. Created and written by Dustin Lance Black. Directed by Van Sant. Produced by Dustin Lance Black, Gus Van Sant, Laurence Mark and Bruce Cohen.

ABC is an American commercial broadcast television network with over 232 affiliated television stations throughout the United States.

Twitter: @WhenWeRiseABC@TheGuyPearce@griffysport@BKBMG@AustinThoughts@EDSkeggs@fionadourif

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