gerald “jerry” degrieck and nancy wechsler served on the ann arbor city council from 1972 to 1974. both were elected by the human rights party, a radical third party, at only 22 years old. in 1973, they became the first people anywhere to come out while holding public office.
during a press conference held in response to a homophobic incident at a local restaurant, degrieck and wechsler came out together. this simultaneously made them the first openly gay and first openly lesbian elected officials in the united states.
though their story did not receive national visibility and recognition, it remains an important political landmark in LGBT history.
updated: photo from the cover of the ann arbor sun no. 29, april 1972