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When We Rise Premiere Helped Put a Broken World Back Together Again

These are frightening times for the LGBTQ community. The prospect of having a have a notoriously anti-gay rights man as vice president was bad enough, but hopes of Trump being more tempered have quickly been dashed by the latest executive order on trans bathrooms. LGBTQ individuals and their allies are rightfully worried about the future.

More: 19 Movies About the Gay Rights Movement You Can Stream Right Now

In the midst of all this, it’s easy to forget how far we’ve come and how much we stand to lose. Just a few decades ago, it was practically unheard of for same-sex partners to walk around holding hands, much less declare their love publicly by getting hitched. Even a peaceful protest could quickly spiral out of control. Yes, this still happens today, and yes, things are far from perfect, but at least today’s LGBTQ population enjoys a few protections that were not available in the 1960s and ’70s.

Roma Guy
Image: ABC

The huge changes we’ve witnessed in recent years were highlighted in the first installment of what promises to be a very inspiring and very sobering mini-series from ABC. Appropriately titled When We Rise, the show highlights the oft-forgotten stories of several brave LGBTQ activists, including Roma Guy and Cleve Jones.

More: Marriage Equality Laws Associated With Drop in LGBTQ Teen Suicide Rate

As with any socially progressive broadcast, When We Rise attracted its fair share of haters, who whined about the “liberal propaganda.” A few others appreciated the show’s message but decried the make-out scenes and general sexual content. Most, however, deeply appreciated the show’s emphasis on love and acceptance — and what the LGBTQ community can accomplish when its various factions band together.

As we look toward a promising future for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, it is absolutely imperative that we remember the past, for without it, we are sure to make the mistakes documented in When We Rise again and again. Thank you, When We Rise, for reminding us how much has been sacrificed and how much work we still have to do. This may be a time of upheaval, but as this inspiring show demonstrates, there is reason to be hopeful for a brighter tomorrow.

More: 10 LGBT Organizations That Have Made a Difference

What did you think of When We Rise? Did you find its message of unity and acceptance inspiring? Comment and share your opinion below.

Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

Gay rights movies slideshow
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images, Focus Features

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