Celebrating Pride Month 2022

honoring pride month

This month, on June 28, 1969, 53 years ago, LGBTQ Pride unofficially got its start with a series of riots and protests that took place at the historic Stonewall Inn in New York City. Those demonstrations—the result of an illegal police raid on the inn and the queer community’s resulting decision to come together and stand up for their rights after years of previous abuses—gave birth to the modern Pride movement and the resulting celebration of LGBTQ history and heritage that comes along with it each summer.

Pride Month is a time to celebrate love and gender identity in all the various forms each can take, to reflect on the rights the LGBTQ community has fought so hard for over the past five-plus decades (including the growth of nondiscrimination laws and the 2015 Supreme Court approval of marriage equality), and to push for the continuing growth and expansion of those rights so all LGBTQ individuals have the same rights and freedoms as everyone else living in the United States.

To celebrate LGBTQ Pride and STEM we feature the accomplishments of Alan Turing—someone you may not be familiar with but who has increased inclusion and representation in our world and made significant contributions to the STEM field.

Alan Turing (1912 – 1954)

Often considered one of history’s most talented mathematicians, logicians, cryptanalysts, philosophers, physicists, and biologists — and a model for gay pride — British-born Alan Turing is most well-known for his groundbreaking role in helping to successfully bring about the end of World War II. Working for the British during the early 1940s, Turing famously helped to crack and decipher the so-called “Nazi Enigma Code,” giving allied forces a window into the messages Hitler and his soldiers were transmitting. With that remarkable feat, experts have since estimated that Turing’s discovery helped bring the war to an end several years earlier than expected and may have ultimately saved millions of lives. To help mark and celebrate his contribution to the end of the war, the British government even went so far as to appoint Turing an official officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1946.

“Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.”
~Alan Turing

Sadly, life was never that easy for the man who is today considered the “father of the modern-day computer.” Openly gay, Turing was arrested in 1952 on suspicion of having a homosexual relationship with another man he had recently met. Turing admitted the incident was true and was charged with the crime of “gross indecency” under U.K. law. Turing was found dead in his bedroom by a housekeeper two short years later. His death was ruled the result of either suicide or perhaps accidental exposure to improperly stored laboratory chemicals.

Fortunately, U.K. Parliament has since recognized the ills of what it had done and in 2012 Turing was officially pardoned of all charges against him. Two years after that, Turing went on to become one of the most celebrated men in England when the 2014 film based on his life “The Imitation Game” became one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year. Together, the posthumous honors have helped to cement Turing’s legacy as one of history’s most important and influential gay men.

Read the full article written and published by DiversityInc by Brian Good.

Note: A section of this article was modified from its original version and published for COE News.