Last week we witnessed what was incredible storytelling for the LGBTQ community in #WhenWeRise and it was wonderful to hear from its creator and writer, Dustin Lance Black, yesterday “THANK YOU! Numbers are in! #WhenWeRise actually GREW its audience - - on Friday night! Helping make @ABCnetwork the #1 network last night.
My wife and youngest son were absolutely glued, as were so many other families of all diversities, it was showing the history of the LGBTQ community and it needed, needs, to be seen. High schools should include this in their curriculum.
Seeing the stories of the activists, Cleve Jones, Roma Guy and Ken Jones brought to life was so important but what seemed to stand out to me right now was the story of Cecilia Chung, the transgender activist, portrayed so perfectly by Ivory Aquino. When I watched as Cecilia told her mother “I’ve always been your daughter” my heart wanted to implode, as a lesbian coming out to my mother this really hit home. Over the years, I have been an LGBTQ activist, I have seen the hardship felt by people transitioning and talking to those affected they want and need acceptance and inclusion. When Ivory Aquino accepted the part of Cecilia Chung in When We Rise she was taking a giant leap for all transgender people, she was putting herself directly in the spotlight and paving the way for other transgender actors and actresses, being seen is so vital. “In supporting trans kids, we send the message to all our children that THE MOST YOU CAN BE FOR THE WORLD IS YOURSELF” says Ivory Aquino “who we are is ENOUGH, worthy of love and a gift to the world.” When a trans kid is questioning whether the world will accept them, we need to make sure they know they will be, that’s why LGBTQ storytelling is crucial.
aven’t already watched When We Rise you can now binge watch On Demand, iTunes and Hulu, be a part of the new civil rights movement, advocate, spread some love, be the change we all need to be right NOW.
Catch up on When We Rise here http://abc.So many of our LGBTQ family are still living in fear, I receive messages from people afraid to reveal their true selves, scared at how their family and friends will react to the news, as we continue to live in homophobic society. They need to see more stories about them, they want to start seeing stories that have a happy ending, so they will feel the world is becoming a more welcoming place.
Even though Laurie and I have been married for over 10 years now and I have my green card, following the repeal of DOMA (Defense Of Marriage Act) we still keep advocating because there are still many hearts and minds that need to be changed. As a married, bi-national lesbian couple, I’m British and Laurie is American, I faced so much prejudice from those in the highest of office. I would be interrogated each time I came back to the US and made to feel like a criminal, just because of who I loved. To avoid enforced separation for up to 10 years we sort legal advice, we were told to either go over the radar or under the radar, we went over the radar and told our story to anyone who would listen.
As Dustin rightly says “Hope more and more storytellers will help tell our stories. We have countless stories and perspectives. They all need to be shared.” We are very much hoping that our true story HART, now in development, written by myself, Laurie, along with award-winning writer/director Cate Carson, can help open some hearts and inspire some change, showing a bi-national love, family commitment and a fight for human rights that proves #LoveWins.
If you hgo.com/shows/when-we-rise
For more information about #HARTmovie Hart2Hart Productions