Equal Review

A closer look at the history of the LGBTQIA rights movements

Aparnna Hajirnis -

Equal Review

What is the story about?

Narrated by Emmy-winner Billy Porter, the series follows the events that lead to the great Stonewall Uprising in 1969. The ensemble cast includes Samira Wiley, Cheyenne Jackson, Anthony Rapp, Shannon Purser, Heather Matarazzo, Sarah Gilbert, Jamie Clayton, Isis King, and Gale Harold.

Equal features a combination of archival footage and various reenactments that focus on the LGBTQ+ rights movement in 20th century America and tells us a compelling story about the rebellions of the LGBTQIA community.

Analysis

Docu-dramas, especially with reenactments and storytelling, can get cheesy, but Equal has some powerful stories to tell. Equal pays tribute to the rebels of the LGBTQIA community who put up a fight with the society and the system to be accepted and to dispel the taboos surrounding homosexuality. There are several names who have faded into oblivion, but their struggles are still relevant to the LGBTQIA. There is a compelling story of a trans man who was arrested for dressing differently, a gay rights activist and a drag performer who had a significant role to play in the Stonewall Uprising of 1969 and to the founding of The Mattachine Society that sought to improve the lives of gay men through discussion groups. The LGBTQIA community faces persecution even today in several parts of the world, but some parts have opened up and accepted them. Equal takes a look at history through the sexuality lens and how some members of the community fought tooth and nail to avoid persecution and be accepted as a part of society. Each story involves a lot of unseen footage, pictures, anecdotes, interviews about the various gay rights organizations and activists.

Highlights

The series is not just a documentary but has several reenactments for the audiences to get a clearer picture of the rebels of yesteryears. The storytelling is powerful, riveting and compelling. 
 

Drawbacks

None that I could spot.

Did I enjoy it?

For someone like me who enjoys docu-series, this was another great find. This 4-episode series is evidence of masterful storytelling. I also enjoyed seeing Gale Harold on the screen after a long time. 
 

Do I recommend it?

Go for it! This docu-series is totally binge-worthy. 
 


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