HBO Max orders four-part LGBTQ history docuseries

Titled "Equal," the series will explore the true stories of leaders and activists in the movement, including Christine Jorgensen and Bayard Rustin.
Image: Christine Jorgensen
Christine Jorgensen at her home inLaguna Beach, Calif., on Nov. 30, 1977.George Brich / AP
By Variety

HBO Max has commissioned a four-part docuseries on the history of the LGBTQ+ movement.

Titled "Equal," the series will explore the true stories of leaders and activists of the movement. Each hour-long episode will feature interviews, reenactments, and never before seen footage. The series hails from Warner Horizon Unscripted Television.

"We are extremely proud to partner with these groundbreaking producers on a subject this important, at a time this critical," said Mike Darnell, president of unscripted and alternative television at Warner Bros. "What a perfect project to launch Warner Horizon Unscripted Television's new documentary series unit."

Among those who will be profiled in the series are: Harry Hay, a gay rights activist and the founder of the modern gay movement; The Daughters of Bilitis, a lesbian civil and political rights organization; Christine Jorgensen, a transgender woman who flew to Europe in 1951 to undergo sex reassignment surgery and publicly transitioned; and gay rights and African American rights leader Bayard Rustin. Part four chronicles The Stonewall Riots from start to finish as well as the first Pride, the year after Stonewall.

Scout Productions' David Collins, Michael Williams, Rob Eric, and Joel Chiodi will executive produce along with Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter of Berlanti Productions. Jim Parsons and Todd Spiewak will also executive produce via That's Wonderful Productions, along with Jon Jashni from Raintree Ventures and Mike Darnell and Brooke Karzen of Warner Horizon Unscripted Television.

"In June, we commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which shepherded in a new era for LGBTQ+ pride," said Jennifer O'Connell, executive vice president of original non-fiction and kids programming for HBO Max. "While we know the story behind that fateful summer night, there's a lot of fascinating, untold history of the patriots, artists, and thinkers who paved the way. It's time to share their heroic tales, and we could not have more perfect partners in Jim Parsons, Greg Berlanti, Jon Jashni and Scout to introduce our HBO Max audience to these historical trailblazers."

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Reuters contributed.