henry gerber

i lowkey want to make a timeline of U.S. lgbtqia+ important pre-Stonewall history (henry gerber, lisa ben, knights of the clock, dale jennings’ trial, ONE vs. Olesen, ger van braam, founding of SIR, etc etc) bc like. we’re so far removed from that part of our history, but some if it is so important. people who care about our history should know that a Filipina working-class lesbian (Rose Bamberger) came up with the idea of the daughters of bilitis. people should know that a black gay man (Guy Rousseau) gave ONE its name. people should know that in 1958 ONE took a case regarding the obscenity of queer-oriented publications to the supreme court and won the right to distribute queer magazines thru the post office. people should know that in 1926 Henry Gerber brought queer press to the united states and that in 1947 Lisa Ben (Edyth Eyde) single-handedly published the first lesbian newsletter in the US. people should know that in 1952 Christine Jorgensen made front-page news that turned her into the US’s first trans celebrity (or at least public figure). people should know about the black cat tavern raid, the new year’s ball raid, the compton’s cafeteria raid - all of which predated the stonewall riots. 

this is a part of our history. an important part of our culture. and we deserve to know about it.

Can we talk about Magnus Hirschfield for a moment?

The man is a Jewish German physician and he is a part of and founded the Scientific Humanitarian Committee: they advocate for sexual minorities’ such as homosexuals and trans people.

He passionately defended the rights for homosexuals and wanted to repeal Paragraph 175, an article which criminalizes homosexuality. He says “homosexuality was part of the plan of nature and creation just like normal love”.

And with that said, Hirschfield was condemned by German media, who called him a freak scientist. His testimony lead him to be hated by the German people, if not outraged.

Hirschfield was an outspoken supporter for sexual minorities and stood for women’s rights during the early 20th century (where they actually needed it) and joined the League for the Protection of Mothers: he campaigned the decriminalization of abortion, and was against the ban for female teachers or civil service workers to get married or have children.

Hirschfield died on his birthday, 14th May 1967 in Nice, France.

Hirschfield inspired people like by Henry Gerber, an American homosexual rights activist who started the short lived Society For Humans Rights in 1924; it was known to be the first known gay rights organization of America. In 1979 in Ireland, the Hirschfield Center was established which was the first gay and lesbian community center.

People like Magnus Hirschfield is the LGBT hero we all should talk about. People who strongly defended and advocated for our rights and having our place in the world back in the day, where being yourself is worth of being arrested, euthanized, and hated by society.

If not for him, we wouldn’t be here at all.

LGBTQ* History (You Might Not Know)

Homosexuality has been LEGAL in Illinois since 1962. 

Let’s break this down a little bit more:

When the Stonewall Riots broke out in New York City, Illinois was the ONLY state in the entire United States where you had any type of protections.  

External image

Illinois is also also home for Harry Gerber and the first Gay and Lesbian rights organization in the United States, the Society for Human Rights (SHR). 

Picture Source (above) : Wikipedia

Picture Source (Gerber) : Wikipedia

Time to drop the T? An Apology to Hillsboro High School and a Serious Question for the LGBT Community

To the students and faculty of Hillsboro High School, and to the parents of those students, many of us in the LGBT community would like to issue an apology. The actions of the individual known as Lila Perry do not reflect the attitudes of many of us and we want you to know that we are appalled and disgusted with the behavior of the media in response to the controversy, particularly a commentary written by Brynn Tannehill entitled “The Classmates of Trans Teen Lila Perry Should Be Ashamed,” published on the website for The Advocate, one of the leading media outlets for the LGBT community. In attempting to shame children, Tannehill and The Advocate have stepped beyond genuine activism and into targeted demonization of innocent children. 

We want you to know that we do not approve or condone this action and, in fact, have many issues with a fringe group of trans activists that have emerged in the past few years. These activists do not reflect the opinion of many trans individuals and have become an embarrassment to the LGBT community at large. 

This fringe group has repeatedly, and often successfully, attacked women, lesbians, gay men, and children: 

- for many years, a summertime festival known as MichFest was restricted to women; their resistance to allowing MTF members led to verbal and written harrassment, eventually forcing the organization to shut down this year

- Glasgow Free Pride, in Scotland, early this summer initially banned drag queens, a cherished cultural staple within the gay community, for fear that it “might make those who were transgender or questioning their gender uncomfortable”; saner heads prevailed and the ban was rescinded

- a fundraiser in England that had fathers of patients in a children’s hospice dress in drag and race each other was investigated by police after a trans group claimed it constituted a hate crime; the investigation determined no such hate crime occurred 

These are just three of many recent incidents that have demonstrated the trans fringe group’s disdain for women and the gay community. Perhaps the most insulting has been their attempt to rewrite history and make themselves the leading figures in the Stonewall rebellion, asserting that it was transgender individuals who instigated the riot and played a primary role; this despite the fact that historical research by David Carter shows that the vast majority of those who participated in the riot were white homeless gay youths and that the gender-bending individuals who did participate were drag queens or those who considered themselves transvestites – men who dressed up in women’s clothing but still identified as men – not the modern concept of transgender. Additionally, their insistence that these alleged trans individuals are solely responsible for the modern gay rights movement fails to acknowledge the work of many gay men and women prior to Stonewall – people such as Henry Gerber, Harry Hay, Fred Kameny, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon – who protested for gay rights in the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s, when being gay was still illegal. 

Furthermore, we want you to know that we are frustrated and angry with our own LGBT organizations, such as the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD and Lambda Legal, which go along with these fraudulent incidents. Instead of fighting to end job discrimination (gay men and women can still be legally fired in 32 states) or extending help to our gay brothers being killed by ISIS in Syria and Iraq or persecuted by their own governments in Uganda and Russia, these organizations seem to feel that allowing a boy in a dress access to the girls’ locker room is more important. For this and other reasons, many in the LGBT community have stopped donating to these organizations. 

We also want you to know that we are perplexed and astounded by the media’s support of these shenanigans. That the women of The View would applaud a boy for wanting to expose his genitalia in front of teenage girls is shocking and appalling to us. Even more disturbing are the constant “glowing” articles and news reports about children at the age of 5 or 7 or 9 who are already transitioning, simply because they display behaviors that are traditionally associated with the opposite gender. From a medical perspective, this is worrisome, as research shows that of children who express gender dysphoria at a very young age, less than 20% still express it when they reach adolescence and adulthood; from an ideological perspective, it refutes all that gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and enlightened straight men and women have been fighting for over the past few decades: to revise and expand concepts of gender, so that a boy who likes dolls and frilly things can still be a boy, or a girl who likes sports or playing with trucks can still be a girl. The trans fringe ideology, however, is the reverse: to re-assert and codify traditional concepts of gender, such that a boy who likes dolls and frilly things must really be a girl, or a girl who likes sports or playing with trucks must really be a boy. 

Possibly the most frustrating aspect of all this is that this is being written in fear. Any logical debate or criticism of the trans fringe results in attacks and harassment, including death threats, to such an extent that those who work in the gay rights movement are holding their tongues while medical professional, doctors and psychiatrists, are afraid to speak out for fear of being censored. (Indeed, for this very reason the author of this piece was persuaded by friends and co-workers to use a pseudonym). This is akin to fascism and is not how it should work in this country and certainly not how it should work in the medical profession or the legal profession or the world of education. 

Many in the community have started to express a desire to “drop the T,” to divorce the transgender movement from the larger gay, lesbian and bisexual movement. There is possibly some merit to this, as the goals of transgender community seem to be the opposite of the gay, lesbian and bisexual movement. 

In the end, a new discussion must be opened up, these issues must be aired, openly and without fear, and allow truth to be heard, even when some people don’t want it to be heard. We beg your patience and hope that you can forgive the behavior of misguided people and help us get the journey for equality back into a more rational and realistic focus.