Choose Chicago® is the official destination marketing organization for Chicago, Illinois. When you’re in Chicago, you’re home. With the countless experiences there are to have here, you're absolutely welcome to do any and all of them.
This stone front row house, built in 1885, is a Chicago landmark and was the home of gay rights pioneer Henry Gerber (1892-1972).
In 1924, Gerber founded the first known homosexual rights organization in the United States, the Society for Human Rights. The group was a precursor to the Mattachine Society (1950) and the birth of the modern gay rights movement. The newsletter Gerber published for the Society for Human Rights — Friendship and Freedom — is also considered to be the first documented gay rights publication in the country.
Sadly, the organization lasted only a year, ending when a member's wife discovered a copy of Friendship and Freedom among his belongings. Gerber's flat was raided and searched. All materials pertaining to the organization were confiscated. The case was later dismissed due to lack of a warrant, but by then Gerber had been fired from his job as a postal worker. Soon after, he left Chicago for New York. Gerber died on New Year's Eve 1972 at age 80. Gerber was inducted into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame in 1992.
The Henry Gerber House, a National Historic Landmark, is located at 1704 N. Crilly Ct., Chicago, IL 60614 with the marker embedded in the sidewalk in front.
Chicago's LGBT Library and Archives, Gerber/Hart, bears his name as well as that of Pearl Hart.