Jerry DeGrieck

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Jerry DeGrieck
Ann Arbor City Council, First Ward
In office
Preceded by John P. Kirscht (D)
Succeeded by Colleen S. McGee (D)
Personal details
Political party Human Rights Party
Residence Seattle, Washington
Alma mater University of Michigan
Profession Public health and public policy

Gerald (Jerry) C. DeGrieck is a public health manager and policy advisor in Seattle, Washington. He and Nancy Wechsler served together on the Ann Arbor City Council, 1972-1974, while they were graduate students at the University of Michigan. In 1973, they simultaneously became the first openly gay elected officials in the United States.[1][2]

Ann Arbor City Council[edit]

DeGrieck and Wechsler were elected to the Ann Arbor City Council as members of the Human Rights Party on April 3, 1972. Political observers did not believe the third party had much chance of winning any seats, but the party's liberal platform appealed to young voters and beat university professors running as Democrats in the 1st and 2nd wards.[3]

At the time of their election, Wechsler was a 22-year-old history student at University of Michigan, the first student member of the city council, and DeGrieck was a graduate student. In 1973, DeGrieck and Wechsler became the first openly gay male and openly lesbian elected officials in the United States when they came out together, at a press conference held in response to a homophobic incident at a local restaurant.[4][5]

After finishing his term in 1974, DeGrieck moved to Seattle, Washington, where he went on to work for Seattle's Gay Pride Week and eventually became a public health manager and policy advisor to the City of Seattle. He is currently Regional Health Administrator in the King County Department of Public Health.[5][6][7]

Personal life[edit]

DeGrieck had a daughter, born in 1981, with a lesbian friend. He has not been as engaged in politics since the birth of his daughter.[6]


  1. ^ Clendinen, Dudley; Nagourney, Adam (2013). Out For Good: The Struggle to Build a Gay Rights Movement in Ame. Simon and Schuster. 
  2. ^ Stein, Marc (2012). Rethinking the Gay and Lesbian Movement. Routledge. p. 107. 
  3. ^ "Ann Arbor Human Rights Party, 1972". 2007-09-18. Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  4. ^ Marcus, Eric (2009). Out in All Directions: A Treasury of Gay and Lesbian America. Hachette Digital, Inc. 
  5. ^ a b DeGrieck, Jerry (2009-01-21). "Think Harvey Milk Was the First Openly-Gay Politician? Think Again Full story here:" (Interview). Retrieved December 8, 2013.  External link in |title= (help)
  6. ^ a b Eshenroder, Owen (February 5, 1985). "HRP's light burned briefly but brightly in city politics". Ann Arbor News. Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  7. ^ King County Online Employee Directory (2013). "Jerry DeGrieck". Online Directory. Retrieved May 29, 2016.