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The LGBT Movement in the USA

The 30s 40s and 50s: A Tempest on the Horizon

From 1920 to 1923, American, Henry Gerber, worked in Germany; and after browsing some through all-gay publications, which were openly distributed across Europe, Gerber started to become aware of the oppression that American culture had forced upon all homosexual men and woman when accusing them of daily “immoral acts.”

Soon after arriving home, Gerber established the Society for Human Rights (SHR) in Chicago, the country’s first known homosexual establishment.

John T. Graves quickly registered as president, and both men set up a printing shop for editing and releasing, Friendship and Freedom, America’s first gay-interest magazine. However, things were rough back home. The United States throughout the 20s was actually in a status of disarray and misconception in regard to the country’s sex laws.

Any sort of LGBT social practice in the 20s was looked at as inexcusable, and publishing openly-gay literature was considered obscene, which generally resulted in public dissent against all homosexuals.

Despite the fact that many people insisted the SHR was a decent institution whose sole mandate was only to bring homosexual Chicagoans together and to enlighten legal jurisdictions about the constitution, law enforcement apprehended Gerber in 1924, placed him on trial, and shut down the SHR.

“Nobody believes we can do it –reporters, opponents –except ourselves”
–In Defense of Homosexuality, Gerber, 1925.

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