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Ralph Ellsworth Booher
(? - living) U.S.A.

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Lesbian & Gay Activist


We coudn't find any biography about Ralph Ellsworth Booher. All we know is what follows:

Gerber believed professional men in Chicago's homosexual community who had been forced to meet secretly would welcome the opportunity to be part of a reputable organization of like-minded individuals. But Chicago's gay professionals were not so brave. They were afraid associating with a society of homosexuals could tarnish their reputations, ruin their livelihoods, and cause them to be disowned by their families. They refused Gerber's requests for support.

Undeterred, he decided to go it alone. He worked for the Post Office Department. In the spring of 1924, with a handful of friends, he formed SHR. Through a lawyer, SHR applied for and received a charter from the state of Illinois on December 10, 1924.

His strategy was to network and gain support from other "sex reform" leaders, including Margaret Sanger, the American birth-control advocate, but nobody seemed interested. It is thought the group never had more than 10 members. and they were poor people who had no influence.

Gerber elected himself secretary; president was the Rev. John T. Graves, "a preacher who preached brotherly love to small groups of Negroes". Al Meininger, the vice-president, was an indigent "laundry queen", a name given by the military to men who did laundry as opposed to more manly work. The treasurer, Ralph Ellsworth Booher, worked for the railroad and was in constant fear of losing his job, when his homosexuality became known. Not exactly the group Henry had hoped would lead a revolution.


Source: http://www.chicagonow.com/ & http://www.washingtonblade.com/

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