LGBTQ+ Pride Month

June

“Nobody believes we can do it—reporters, opponents—except ourselves."

– Henry Gerber

Henry Gerber was among the earliest gay rights activists in America. He founded the nation’s first gay organization and gay publication.

Henry Gerber (June 29, 1892 – December 31, 1972) was among the earliest gay rights activists in America. He founded the nation’s first gay organization and gay publication. Gerber served in the U.S. Army during the occupation of Germany between 1920 to 1923. While stationed in Germany Gerber was inspired and influenced by the work of Germany’s Magnus Hirschfeld, a German Jewish physician. Hirschfeld was the founder of a German homosexual and science advocacy organization: the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee.

After Gerber returned from Europe, in 1924, he founded the Society for Human Rights. SHR became the first known homosexual organization to be formed in the United States. In addition to founding SHR Gerber also started the first known American homosexual publication, Friendship and Freedom

The Society for Human Rights was short-lived, as police arrested several of its members, for moral turpitude, shortly after it’s inception. The Chicago police arrested Gerber and tried him three times. While Gerber was found not guilty, the legal fees cost him his life savings and his job at the post office. Shortly thereafter he reenlisted in the military where he served for 18 more years. In 1945 he received an honorable discharge. Throughout this period Gerber maintained contacts within the fledgling homophile movement and continued to agitate for the rights of homosexuals. Gerber wrote (mostly under a pseudonym though sometimes under his real name) articles for a variety of magazines, including one called Chanticleer, in which he would sometimes make the case for homosexual rights. 

In 1992, he was inducted posthumously into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame. In 2001, the Henry Gerber House was designated a Chicago landmark.

 

VIDEOS THAT EXAMINE GENDER IDENTITIES, DEFINITIONS AND EXPERIENCES

SELECTED BIOGRAPHIES 

This is, by no means, an exhaustive look at significant and important figures within the history of the LGBTQ+ community. This is an exploration of figures in LGBTQ+ History, you’ll likely learn something new. Below you will find snap shots and brief bios about individuals who struggled in environments that rejected them for seeking to be themselves. 

To read and learn about other icons:  www.lgbthistorymonth.com

To learn or experience more about the LGBTQ+ experience, here at SLCC: www.slcc.edu/lgbtq

 

Salt Lake Community College

Taylorsville Redwood Campus

4600 South Redwood Road

Salt Lake City, UT 84123

Markosian Library

801-957-4602 

Digital Archives