The first trailer for ABC’s When We Rise gives a heartbreaking hint at a powerful drama series, which is due to begin in February.

Starring Whoopi Goldberg, Rosie O’Donnell, Mary-Louise Parker, Rachel Griffiths and Guy Pearce, the series documents the battles for LGBT rights in America, dramatizing key events from the Stonewall riots in ’60s New York to the work of lesbian activists, The Lavender Menace, in the ’70s.

Oscar-winning screenplay writer Dustin Lance Black joined forces with director Gus Van Sant to create When We Rise, reuniting the team that created the Harvey Milk biopic, Milk. The series is based in part on a memoir of the same name by writer Cleve Jones. Jones is played by Guy Pearce, with Whoopi Goldberg portraying Pat Norman, the first openly gay employee of the San Francisco Health Department. Mary-Louise Parker plays activist Roma Guy, Rachel Griffiths as her wife Diane, and Rosie O’Donnell as Del Martin, the co-founder of the first US lesbian organisation.

Watch the full ABC trailer below:

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