In order to succeed, all social movements need a vision of where they are going, dedicated people to do the work of getting them there and material resources with which to support their efforts. In the 1960's, there were very few people who could freely offer any of these for the nascent gay and lesbian movements. Reed Erickson was one man who came forward during this time to provide ongoing financial support for gays and lesbians and to show remarkable vision and leadership, as well as financial support, for the development of transsexual/transgender advocacy on all fronts.
Reed Erickson was an extremely wealthy transsexed man who lived a colorful and eccentric but very private life. In June 1964, Reed Erickson launched the Erickson Educational Foundation (EEF), a nonprofit philanthropic organization funded and controlled entirely by Erickson himself. A brochure describing the Erickson Educational Foundation stated that its goals were "to provide assistance and support in areas where human potential was limited by adverse physical, mental or social conditions, or where the scope of research was too new, controversial or imaginative to receive traditionally oriented support." Through the EEF Erickson contributed millions of dollars to the early development of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and queer movements between 1964 and 1984.