When We Rise: Season 1, Episode 2

Night II: Parts II and III (Mar 1, 2017)

TV Episode42 min.Drama
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Part II. 1977. Cleve is working on Harvey Milk's next bid for a city supervisor seat, they hoping it will be fourth time lucky. Roma and her associates are not officially supporting Milk as they see him as just another white male. Cleve is now a well known gay activist, he having mobilized the gay population in the city. With Scott having returned from Amsterdam, Cleve, Scott and Marvin look for a place in the city they can call home. Roma, now out to her Catholic parents who support but worry about her, has been able to open the Women's Building, a safe haven for women which is out of bounds to all men. Diane announces that she wants to have a "turkey baster" baby, which she had not previously discussed with Roma or Jean, only one whose opinion about which she really cares. And Ken is living with Richard and his wife Ellen, the arrangement to protect all involved, especially Richard who still has to be in the closet for professional reasons. This arrangement becomes especially difficult for Ken, who is getting more involved in gay public life, initially with the coded named Diversity Committee, which is currently organizing an annual fair. Their collective worlds are turned upside down with Proposition 6 sponsored by California state senator John Briggs, which if it passes would give school boards the right to fire any staff person for advocating or practicing homosexuality. The homosexual community realizes that if the initiatives passes, it is just the first move to quash any homosexual rights and may even lead to such acts as being legally able to take away biological children of homosexual parents. It also directly affects Richard with his job and Diane in her effort to have a baby. This initiative acts as a catalyst to bring Cleve, Ken and Roma's forces together, the first mission to get Milk elected as a symbolic gesture against Prop 6. But they also realize that it will take a mobilized state-wide ground game to defeat the proposition. The gay community embarks on another and unexpected fight starting twenty days after the vote. Part III. 1981. The murders of Harvey Milk and George Moscone, which were ruled manslaughter by the all white/all straight jury, mobilized the gay community even further where they are now making inroads at the political level, Cleve who is working for a state assemblyman. With the birth of Diane's baby, Diane and Roma's relationship takes a turn where Diane feels a need to focus on her new job as a nurse at the hospital, and taking care of Annie. Ken is operating a center for youth at risk, most of those kids who have come from elsewhere, some who are gay, and have no support at all and thus largely end up on the street otherwise. And the new sexual freedom that gay men in particular feel they can now exhibit partly manifests itself in public sex in bathhouses. The gay community begins to be rocked once again when large numbers of gay men, especially in larger urban centers, fall ill with immune damaged systems, more often than not leading to death. The disease is initially coined gay related immune deficiency (GRID). Ken sees it among the gay youth at the center. Cleve and his friends, who frequent the bathhouses, notice brown lesions on some of their skin, which is eventually known as Kaposi Sarcoma (KS) and which is an indication of that immune breakdown. Dr. Marcus Conant, Cleve's friend who is treating many of those afflicted, wants Cleve, as a known voice in the gay community, to act as a liaison between the gay community, and health officials and researchers in finding out the cause and the transmission of the disease, the speculation that it is a communicable disease spread by gay sex. Pat, working for public health, has some preliminary but thus far inconclusive data, which may not be sufficient answers for Ken, Cleve and the gay community. The gay community is turning on itself, the witch hunts for the tell-tale signs of the brown lesions. Diane, on the front line at the hospital, feels that Roma and their friends have abandoned their gay male sisters at this crucial time in their lives. It may take the disease spreading into non-gay male populations for the world truly to take notice and care. Written By Huggo  Less

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