LGBT Oral History 039: Jerre Freiberg

Number of Pages: 
December 3, 2014

Jerre Freiberg was raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. His family has close ties to the Lutheran Church, and he has remained affiliated with the church throughout his life. Jerre attended Elizabethtown College for two years before leaving to join the Navy. He remained in the Navy for 22 years, retiring in 1986. After retiring for the Navy, Jerre continued to work as Lancaster County’s budget analyst, and later as the Director of Administrative Services for the Lancaster Guidance Center. Jerre was diagnosed as HIV positive in 1992, and he subsequently became involved in several Lancaster area HIV/AIDS groups and organizations. In this interview, Jerre discusses his naval career —and being in a same-sex relationship during his years in service.  He details his experiences as being HIV positive in Lancaster, including his own work advocating for other HIV positive persons, such as being the director of the Betty Finney House which assisted low-income persons with HIV with housing needs. Jerre elaborates on some of his relationships, both before and after his HIV diagnosis. Jerre goes on to discuss changes he has seen since the early days of the AIDS crisis, and some of the challenges those who are currently HIV positive still face, particularly issues concerning senior citizens. He concludes with a reflection on changes within the LGBT community throughout his life — such as same sex marriage legalization and equality efforts.

Time Period: 
Gift of Jerre Freiberg
LGBT Oral History - Freiberg, Jerre - 039
Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections