The four-part miniseries offers crucial history lessons and more than a few knockout performances by out queer actors.
2020 has already been a landmark year for documentaries and shows that chronicle the LGBTQ+ rights movement and queer history. Netflix’s Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen drew a line that connected the often flawed media representations of trans people to the horrible mistreatment they were subjected to in the real world, while Apple TV+’s Visible: Out on Television effectively documented the bumpy history of on-screen queer representation. And today, HBO Max premieres Equal, a four-part miniseries that seeks to bring pivotal groups, moments, and figures throughout queer history, from the Mattachine Society to STAR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries), to life through dramatic reenactments, found historical footage, and fact-based narration (the latter of which is voiced by the always-perfect Pose star Billy Porter).
That mix of drama and documentary doesn’t always find its footing, but Equal’s mission — to comprehensively recount the first decades of the LGBTQ+ rights movement — wasn’t easy to begin with. It would be virtually impossible to cover every significant event and highlight every significant person that got us where we are today while still telling an intelligible story. Yet the show still manages to do a lot within its self-defined constraints by smartly singling out stories that are still unknown to many, resulting in a series that’s, at the very least, educational and informative. Below, I’ve listed four reasons to tune into the new series, which is streaming in full now on HBO Max.
Equal Offers A Necessary Peek Into The Undertold Stories Of Our Country’s Trans Heroes…