Throughout his life, Ulrichs fought tirelessly for the rights of gay people – even before the term ‘homosexual’ was coined.
In fact, Ulrichs is widely credited as the pioneer of the modern gay rights movement and is famous for making his own words up to describe gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and intersex people.
Between 1863 and 1879, Ulrichs published a series of twelve essays known collectively as 'Forschungen über das Rätsel der mannmännlichen Liebe' (or, in English, ‘Studies on the Riddle of Male-Male Love’).
According to historian Keith Dockray, Ulrichs was the first homosexual to publically defend homosexuality, even though he was shouted down.
In his biography on Ulrichs, Hubert Kennedy, a mathematician and historian, said the speech marked “the beginning of the public homosexual emancipation movement in Germany”.
Ulrichs’ activism also showed in other aspects of his life – he was twice imprisoned for protesting against Prussia’s invasion and the annexing of Hannover in 1866.
In fighting for gay rights, Ulrichs faced great opposition – his works were banned and confiscated by police and he was ridiculed in the press.
Today, he is widely regarded as the first gay activist – and the first person to publically come out as gay.
He is credited by historians for pioneering the modern gay rights movement. “Ulrichs was an intelligent, educated man, who deserves our admiration for his bravery and persistence,” says Kennedy.
Whoever says gay men are not man enough, I strongly disagree with that. Because they are strong and brave enough to tell who they truly are and that is how a man (or woman) should be.