Country’s first documented gay rights organization started 100 years ago in Chicago

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06/10/2024

A century ago, Henry Gerber founded America’s first documented gay rights organization in a boardinghouse at 1710 N. Crilly Court in Chicago. It was once part of a complex of townhouses built for well-heeled newlyweds. Today it sits amid Old Town’s mix of high-rise condos and renovated brownstones. A plaque in the sidewalk outside the building where he lived on the second floor notes it is a Chicago landmark, explaining that the home was where Gerber wrote at least the first of the two published issues of “Friendship and Freedom,” the first documented gay periodical in America.

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