This is the birth date of German lawyer, writer and Gay Rights pioneer KARL HEINRICH ULRICHS (d. 1895). In the early history of LGBT Rights that includes John Addington Symonds, Magnus Hirschfeld, and Edward Carpenter Ulrichs is one of the most important. He wrote under the pseudonym Numa Numatis till 1868. He was born in Aurich, Hannover and died in L’Aguila, Italy. He is considered the first person to stand in public for the rights of homosexuals. And all this before the word “homosexual,” or “heterosexual” for that matter, even existed. Ulrichs is seen today as a pioneer of modern Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender movements.
He studied law at the universities of Göttingen and Berlin (1844-47) and became a junior attorney in the civil service of the Kingdom of Hanover. In 1854 he left state service to become a free-lance journalist and private secretary of a representative to the German Confederation in Frankfurt am Main.
In Frankfurt he used embryology to develop a theory of homosexuality that he presented in a series of five booklets (1864-65) titled Forschungen über das Rätsel der mannmännlichen Liebe (Research Into the Riddle of Love Between Men). This he later extended to twelve booklets with the last appearing in 1879.
He assumed that love directed towards a man must be feminine and used the Latin phrase anima muliebris virili corpore inclusa (a female soul trapped in a male body), and he coined the term ‘Urning’ (Uranian) for such a person. This was a reference to Plato’s Symposium in which Pausanias postulates two gods of love, the Uranian (Heavenly) Eros who governs principled male love, whereas the Pandernian (Vulgar) Eros governs heterosexual or purely licentious relations. Károly Mária Kertbeny later invented alternative words such as Homosexualität.
Ulrichs regarded homosexuals as neither criminal nor sick and tried to organize them for their own welfare. In 1864 he was planning to publish a homosexual periodical and in 1870 he started it but it only lasted for one issue through lack of support.
Also on August 28th. 1867 he became the first self-proclaimed homosexual to speak out publicly for homosexual rights when he pleaded at the Congress of German Jurists in Munich for a resolution urging the repeal of all anti-homosexual laws. He was shouted down.