#QueerHeroes Day 21 – Magnus Hirschfeld
Hirschfeld was a German sexologist who formed the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee in 1897, one of the first advocacy groups for gay and transgender rights.
In 1919, he opened the Institute for Sex Research in Berlin. It became a cultural and scientific hub for queer social reformers, researchers, sociologists and scientists. In the 1930s, it began offering the first modern gender confirmation surgeries. Along with being a shelter for disenfranchised queer people, it housed a wealth of research and studies of gender in its vast library.
In 1933, Nazis raided the institute while Hirschfeld was in Switzerland. They burned the entirety of books and archives, totaling about 25,000 pieces. This one act set gender theory and progress back by an untold amount of time.
Hirschfeld was exiled and died in France.