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June is LGBT Pride Month

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Dustin Ratliff
  • 375th Operations Support Squadron
June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month.

In 1924, Bavarian émigré Henry Gerber founded The Society for Human Rights in Chicago, the first gay rights organization in the United States.

The founding of the society was inspired by a similar organization founded in Germany in 1913, with the goal of promoting and protecting homosexual interests in a culture where they were often violently discriminated against.

It was not to last, however, as less than a year after the society's founding, police raided Gerber's home, arrested him, and charged him for publishing indecent material. He only avoided jail on a technicality as he was arrested without a warrant.

Though The Society for Human Rights was short-lived, it set a precedent that would result in the 1950 founding of the Mattachine Society in Los Angeles. The Mattachine Society would go on to form branches across the country with thousands of members, performing education and outreach until the late '60s.

Again, police raids brought on the decline of the Mattachine Society around 1969. Police raids on gay establishments throughout the country were reaching their zenith at this time. Other gay and lesbian rights organizations were unwilling to be more vocal and directly confront the injustices members of the community faced.

Relations between mainstream society and gay rights organizations were reaching a boiling point, at a time when our nation was in the middle of both the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement. What resulted from the tense social situations significantly reshaped the landscape for the LGBT community going forward.

For more information regarding Pride Month, visit the pride booth at Diversity Day or contact Senior Airman Dustin Ratliff at