ABC has cast three more stars for its upcoming mini-series When We Rise which chronicles the LGBT rights movement in San Francisco. Mary-Louise Parker (Longtime Companion, Weeds, Angels in America), Guy Pearce (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Memento, L.A. Confidential), and Rachel Griffiths (Muriel’s Wedding, Brothers and Sisters, Six Feet Under)
Pearce will helm the cast as the LGBT activist Cleve Jones, while Parker “is set as women’s rights leader Roma Guy.” Griffiths will depict Guy’s wife Diane, also a social justice activist. Still to be cast are the roles of Ken Jones, the African American Ken Jones, a longtime gay city resident who was the first African-American chair of what was then known as the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade and Celebration Committee and Cecilia Chung, a transgender activist.
Chung founded the San Francisco Transgender Advocacy and Mentorship (SF TEAM) to provide events for the transgender community through the San Francisco LGBT Community Center. She was also one of the founders of the annual Trans March. She is also the first transgender woman and first Asian to be elected to lead the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Celebration and the first transgender woman and first person living openly with HIV to Chair the San Francisco Human Rights Commission
Currently, Chung serves on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, the current chair of US PLHIV Caucus and is also the Senior Strategist at the Transgender Law Center.
Dustin Lance Black has been adapting longtime gay activist’s Cleves Jones upcoming book of the same title as the source material for the mini-series.
“I have read the first episode’s script. I think people will be very proud of it,” Cleve Jones told the Bay Area Reporter .
He believes the television series will avoid the controversy that engulfed the widely panned Stonewall movie this fall. It was harshly criticized for downplaying the role of people of color and transgender individuals at the 1968 riots tied to a police raid of a New York City gay bar.
“We are not fucking up on the diversity issue,” said Jones.
The miniseries will be divided into six episodes, with the first and final both two hours long. Gus Van Sant, who directed Milk , which was nominated for a best picture Oscar, is directing the pilot episode.
“It is kind of a huge deal,” said Jones about the project. “It basically follows a few people, all of whom decided to come to San Francisco.”
You can pre-order, When We Rise: Coming of Age in San Francisco, AIDS, and My Life in the Movement by Cleve jones through Amazon.com by clicking the book image below.