Henry Gerber was born in Bavaria in 1892. In 1913, he emigrated to America and settled in Chicago. He became inspired by Magnus Hirshfeld's courageous work for gay rights in Germany, while stationed there.
After returning to Chicago's emerging gay subculture, he and several friends founded the first official gay rights organization in America, called the Society for Human Rights.
Gerber created the first underground gay publication, called "Friendship and Freedom." But it was short-lived. Acting on a tip, police discovered papers from the society and arrested all its members. After three costly court cases the charges were dismissed, but Gerber lost his job and his life savings. In the 60s, he resumed writing for the Mattachine Society.
Henry Gerber lived just long enough to witness the Stonewall Rebellion – the birth of the gay liberation movement – before his death.
This Rainbow Minute is read by Tom Miller.