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"When We Rise"

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"When We Rise" is a monumental television event - ABC - yes, a major TV network - is actually devoting four nights to a detailed and heartrending survey/overview of the gay liberation movement from The Stonewall Riot in the late 60's to the arrival of gay marriage today.

 

The overall storyline concerns three very different individuals, who are based on real-life characters who managed to live through it all.

 

That overall focus has a very strong and very deep emotional pull.

 

"When We Rise" is a love letter to the lesbians and gay men who finally stood up and said - out loud - "No, no, no, we are not going to take it anymore".

 

That such strength was finally rewarded is in itself a miracle.

 

Lesbians and gay men are "human beings" first and foremost - and should be seen as such and treated with dignity and respect.

 

Below, two outstanding performances, among many, from Austin P. McKenzie as Cleve Jones and Emily Skeggs as Roma Guy.

 

primary_When-We-Rise-2017.jpg

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I've been watching it. Those who are homophobic have nothing to worry about since there is a lot more talk, protest and everything else than actual intimacy and kissing. I guess they don't want to push the envelope too far, like Bravo's Finding Prince Charming (gay Bachelor). These people come off more as seminary students studying for the priesthood than sexual human beings. Of course, everything else on ABC's and other networks' line-ups has heterosexual frivolities shown in considerable detail.

 

Mike Pence was shown rather unflattering in Thursday's background documentary "warm-up" to the main drama, exercising his "religious freedom" in Indiana back in early 2015. My guess is that we will see more of him tonight. You would hope that if he even bothers watching, he will realize how wrong he was in the past. Yet I have the feeling that all of the protests we see profiled here spanning back to 1972 (it starts three years after Stonewall, which didn't get much coverage in the news back then anyway) will have to continue in the next few years until the Republicans are out of power. Never NEVER take any freedoms for granted. If you are considered a "minority" by The Majority, you will never be totally accepted.

 

It saddens me that the ratings haven't been good. This may mean any number of things. Most TV viewers don't want to deal with the past unless it is shown with a romantic, nostalgic glow. This is definitely not a light hearted comedy with deaths by AIDS included. Possibly a majority are uncomfortable with any TV that is not heteronormal. Also maybe the show is too opinionated for some politically even though politics are integral to the whole story.

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I've been watching it. Those who are homophobic have nothing to worry about since there is a lot more talk, protest and everything else than actual intimacy and kissing. I guess they don't want to push the envelope too far, like Bravo's Finding Prince Charming (gay Bachelor). These people come off more as seminary students studying for the priesthood than sexual human beings. Of course, everything else on ABC's and other networks' line-ups has heterosexual frivolities shown in considerable detail.

 

Mike Pence was shown rather unflattering in Thursday's background documentary "warm-up" to the main drama, exercising his "religious freedom" in Indiana back in early 2015. My guess is that we will see more of him tonight. You would hope that if he even bothers watching, he will realize how wrong he was in the past. Yet I have the feeling that all of the protests we see profiled here spanning back to 1972 (it starts three years after Stonewall, which didn't get much coverage in the news back then anyway) will have to continue in the next few years until the Republicans are out of power. Never NEVER take any freedoms for granted. If you are considered a "minority" by The Majority, you will never be totally accepted.

 

It saddens me that the ratings haven't been good. This may mean any number of things. Most TV viewers don't want to deal with the past unless it is shown with a romantic, nostalgic glow. This is definitely not a light hearted comedy with deaths by AIDS included. Possibly a majority are uncomfortable with any TV that is not heteronormal. Also maybe the show is too opinionated for some politically even though politics are integral to the whole story.

If the ratings are not good, that fact saddens me deeply.

 

"When We Rise" is a "wake-up call" for heterosexual Americans.

 

No "tribe" should have endured what gay Americans endured.

 

The time is now - and forever!!

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"When We Rise" is a monumental television event - ABC - yes, a major TV network - is actually devoting four nights to a detailed and heartrending survey/overview of the gay liberation movement from The Stonewall Riot in the late 60's to the arrival of gay marriage today.

 

The overall storyline concerns three very different individuals, who are based on real-life characters who managed to live through it all.

 

That overall focus has a very strong and very deep emotional pull.

 

"When We Rise" is a love letter to the lesbians and gay men who finally stood up and said - out loud - "No, no, no, we are not going to take it anymore".

 

That such strength was finally rewarded is in itself a miracle.

 

Lesbians and gay men are "human beings" first and foremost - and should be seen as such and treated with dignity and respect.

 

Below, two outstanding performances, among many, from Austin P. McKenzie as Cleve Jones and Emily Skeggs as Roma Guy.

 

primary_When-We-Rise-2017.jpg

Have not looked at this yet- the trailer seemed kind of boring

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Have not looked at this yet- the trailer seemed kind of boring

Jaragon -

 

"When We Rise" IS deeply political.

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If the ratings are not good, that fact saddens me deeply.

 

"When We Rise" is a "wake-up call" for heterosexual Americans.

 

No "tribe" should have endured what gay Americans endured.

 

The time is now - and forever!!

 

I agree. It indicates that many are complacent and take for granted their freedoms. Some might say "I am heterosexual so why should it matter?" Well...

 

Is everybody either 100% homosexual or 100% heterosexual? Not according to the old Kinsey reports. Most of us are somewhere in between and merely try to match our desires to what society and religion demands. Quite often those who married the opposite sex and had kids later change their lifestyle choices after being divorced or widowed. Nothing is ever written in stone.

 

Should The Laws govern everything we do in the bedroom? Also should The Laws govern everything we do in our private toilet stall and monitor who is using the private stall next to ours? If that person is a serious threat to you and anybody else in a public restroom, maybe. Yet none of the transgender cases have caused any trouble except in Republican politicians' demented fantasies.

 

The only way you can successfully outlaw homosexuality is to prove that ALL sex must be procreative. Yet how many heterosexuals ONLY have sex in order to have children? You think all of those Cialis ads for "when the time is right" that are shown repeatedly on Conservative Pro-Trump Fox News are intended for the sole purpose of that aging guy depicted to get his wife "on the nest"?

 

When Mike Pence passed his discriminatory laws in Indiana, there was plenty of protest and many businesses pulled out of the state, forcing him to withdraw it. The same may also happen if it is tried again on a federal level. Make no mistake: the GOP is having a tough time with The Populace these days. The old "united we stand, divided we fall" logic is being exercised by the group protests and, yes, they are impacting things.

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I must confess that I began dozing off during this final show covering all of the work involved in legalizing marriage. If the show has faults, it is too much focus on politics and fighting-for-the-cause. There isn't much intimacy among characters, which makes it hard to know what, if any, "orientations" they are. At least in episode two, the guys looked happy bro-bonding in the bath house before the epidemic hit and we were shown all of the hospital deaths.

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I must confess that I began dozing off during this final show covering all of the work involved in legalizing marriage. If the show has faults, it is too much focus on politics and fighting-for-the-cause. There isn't much intimacy among characters, which makes it hard to know what, if any, "orientations" they are. At least in episode two, the guys looked happy bro-bonding in the bath house before the epidemic hit and we were shown all of the hospital deaths.

I think that the fault with the series is that it was increasingly - politically-oriented.

 

The first two parts were much better due to the focus on the three main characters.

 

Guy Pearce, who played the older Cleve Jones:

 

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Remember the days - Guy Pearce in "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert":

 

a89d854c39b73c3e39a1da4f57d01fd5.jpg

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There were way too many marches in Washington in the last two shows.

 

What was really putting me to sleep was all of the health care talk, which was political but not really about politics in the same way as the other drama. Clearly it was emphasized due to the situation today that is dominating the news and also to help the heterosexuals watching find something to relate to.

 

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what is going on these days. President Trump himself wants to destroy Obamacare simply because he hates the man it was nicknamed after and one must question if he would really give a %$#@ if everybody was calling it the Affordable Care Act instead. In turn, the other Republicans think the federal government should spend a lot less money on helping Americans pay for what they feel they should be paying for themselves. Just think of how many more of America's hard earned tax dollars can be used on much nicer things like the military industrial complex, bailing out Wall Street tycoons, petroleum exploiting and... y'know... stuff that Republicans like. Not what "give it all away to the poor" Democrats like.

 

Relating this all back to the gay cause: those silly liberals even want to help make HIV medication accessible to poor "deviants" unwilling to do everything "heteronormally" when it could all be spent better on nice F-35 Joint Strike Fighters as proscribed by God in the Old Testament. When these cuts occur, the warriors presented on this show want to make sure they don't become invisible, just like that vast quilt on display was invisible to President Bush the First riding in his helicopter overhead in that pivot-able scene set in 1992.

 

Actually all politicians were shown with flaws, even the Democrats. The overall message I was getting from this show was that the Republicans viewed the LGBT much as the Third Reich did the Jews and other non-Aryan groups, but the Democrats were equally guilty of being too skittish. They often are shown saying "we sympathize with your problem but there isn't a lot we can do". Guy Pearce's Cleve Jones was yelling at Democrats more often than Republicans, for the simple fact that the Republicans have better ear-phones to block out the noise.

 

Again, my problem was that there wasn't enough intimacy on display. I liked the daughter being proud of her lesbian parents and getting them to propose to each other. That was a good moment when we see that the characters are so busy fighting for their cause that they forget what their cause is really about until their heterosexual daughter points that out.

 

I also like how they showed the bath house scene "circa" 1981. Contrary to popular belief, not everybody got AIDS in those since not everybody went there to have unprotected sex. Just as many got AIDS in bedrooms at home or in hotels when not being attacked by vice squads. You saw guys just being comfortable socializing with other guys in that setting, having conversations without judgment. Probably 95% of all of the mutual touching did not involve anything that caused disease. Many of the politicians who wanted the baths closed was due to them being anti-gay more than being potential "cess-pools" of disease. (All surviving gay bathhouses today have a ton of literature available for safe sex and even have free medical testing available. Had they did that in the early '80s, it would have helped considerably.)

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Basically, it was a primer for heterosexual audiences.

 

If they were able to stay with it, they would have learned an awful lot.

 

That shot of the presidential helicopter riding over the Aids quilt summed up very nicely the federal response to the Aids epidemic.

 

The fight for gay marriage in the Supreme Court was a hard-won battle.

 

Hopefully, by now, straight Americans have realized that "being different" is not equivalent to "being subversive". 

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I liked how the series began in January 1972 with different characters stumbling on this issue of Life magazine and seeing the word "gay liberation" for the first time in a mass produced periodical. It was suddenly all about "there are others like me".

 

cv123171_1.jpg

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It's difficult to create a show that does justice to the entire gay experience.

 

Is there such a thing as an 'entire gay experience'?     It was my understanding we all wished to get away from generalizing and stereotyping various 'tribes'.      E.g.  a gay man that grew up where I live, Laguna Beach,  which had a gay mayor back in the 70s,  had a vastly different experience than a gay man that grew up in Salt Lake City or the Deep South.

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Is there such a thing as an 'entire gay experience'?     It was my understanding we all wished to get away from generalizing and stereotyping various 'tribes'.      E.g.  a gay man that grew up where I live, Laguna Beach,  which had a gay mayor back in the 70s,  had a vastly different experience than a gay man that grew up in Salt Lake City or the Deep South.

Exactly that is what I mean - we might share similar experiences but at the same time be very different- there was a book I forgot the name which tried to do that

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