February 15, 2015
Gay Rights: What does that mean? Gay rights according to Google by definition is “equal civil and social rights for homosexuals compared with heterosexuals.” What does it mean to be gay? It simply means that a man loves a man and a woman loves a woman. Does that really seem all that bad? You can’t help who you love sometimes. In reality it is no different than a woman loving a man and stays with him, even though he has beat her for the last 10 years, or a man who refuses to leave his cheating wife because he loves her so much. Where did we come up with the idea as to what is socially acceptable or not? We have all these ideas of what people are supposed to be like and somehow we have been convinced that being gay is the devils work and vile. The only thing vile here is how we treat one another for being “different” and expressing who we are.
In 1924 there was an organization in Chicago. This organization was called The Society of Human Rights (infopplease.com) and is known as the earliest gay rights organization in this country. This organization was founded by a German man named Henry Gerber. Gerber came to the U.S. in 1913 and found himself in quite a pickle. Gerber himself was gay and he was put into a mental facility in 1917 for his sexual orientation choice. He later decided to enlist in the US Army and served in World War 1 as a proofreader and printer in Coblenz for Allied Army Occupation. While in Germany, Gerber learned of a man named Mangus Hirschfeld. Gerber was inspired by Hirschfeld because he was diligently working and trying to reform the anit-homoseual German laws (Wikipedia). Now in Berlin the gay community was thriving and the community was greatly supported. They were supported so much they even had a homophile magazine. Gerber was so inspired by all of this that when he came back to the US he filled out the proper documents to start a non-profit organization called “The Society for Human Rights” to Illinois on December 10, 1924. His chapter was created on December 24, 1924. This organizations sole purpose was “[T]o promote and protect the interests of people who by reasons of mental and physical abnormalities are abused and hindered in the legal pursuit of happiness which is guaranteed them by the Declaration of Independence and to combat the public prejudices against them by dissemination of factors according to modern science among intellectuals of mature age. The Society stands only for law and order; it is in harmony with any and all general laws insofar as they protect the rights of others, and does in no manner recommend any acts in violation of present laws nor advocate any manner inimical to the public welfare (Wikipedia).” Gerber’s Society for Human Rights served as links “between the LGBT-related activism of the Weimar Republic and the American homophile movement of the 1950s (Wikipedia).” The Daughters of Bilitis was the very first lesbian rights organization. This organization was founded in 1955 by a group of woman in San Francisco that would hang out on Friday nights. They hoped that other ladies form the Bay area would come and join the parties and conversations they had at one another’s home. It was their discussion that help evolve the DOB. By the 1960’s DOB were in cities across the US: Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. The also had a magazine called “The Ladder” which was entirely written by lesbian woman and it was intended for lesbian readers. Now luckily some of the bars in the major cities would allow the gay community to meet there, but the place could have been raided by police at any given time. The women and men that met at these bars were people who were searching for who they are, looking for love, healing their broken heart or people who just needed some sort of validation in their life. This was a “circle of