HBO Launches a Four-Part LGBTQ Docuseries and We’re Living for It

HBO Max is undertaking a four-part docuseries on the LGBTQ movement’s struggle for equality. It will be the most ambitious TV project to examine the community’s history since ABC aired When We Rise in February 2017.

The series is called Equal, and is intended as a kind of “Profiles in Courage” of the pioneers and heroes of the LGBTQ movement. Plotted out at hour-long episodes, each installment will include interviews, reenactments, and as-yet-unseen footage. Helming the series is Warner Horizon Unscripted Television. Big Bang alumnus Jim Parsons has been named as one of the producers.

The announcement was accompanied by a statement from Mike Darnell, president of unscripted and alternative television at Warner Bros. He’s quoted as saying, “We are extremely proud to partner with these groundbreaking producers on a subject this important, at a time this critical. What a perfect project to launch Warner Horizon Unscripted Television’s new documentary series unit.”

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The personalities planned for inclusion so far include Mattachine Society founder Harry Hay; transgender activist Christine Jorgensen and Martin Luther King Jr.’s gay confidant Bayard Rustin, as well as the Daughters of Bilitis, a group formed to advocate for lesbian rights. The series concludes with a recounting of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising and a recollection of the first Pride march that occured the year following.

Jennifer O’Connell, executive vice president of original non-fiction and kids programming for HBO Max, had this to say about the series:

“In June, we commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which shepherded in a new era for LGBTQ+ pride. While we know the story behind that fateful summer night, there’s a lot of fascinating untold history of the patriots, artists, and thinkers who paved the way. It’s time to share their heroic tales, and we could not have more perfect partners in Jim Parsons, Greg Berlanti, Jon Jashni and Scout to introduce our HBO Max audience to these historical trailblazers.”

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Kevin Phinney
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