January 2, 2012

This Gay In History: Alan Turing Was A Handsome, Brilliant Brit

He was a code-breaker in WWII and is largely known as a father of Computer Science. His Turing Machine was a prototype for modern computers. And he was gay.

His creation is being featured in British postal imagery as a nod to Great Britons. The sad part? He killed himself two years after he was found guilty of homosexual behaviors then-considered illegal. From WIKI:

"In January 1952, Turing met Arnold Murray outside a cinema in Manchester. After a lunch date, Turing invited Murray to spend the weekend with him at his house, an invitation which Murray accepted although he did not show up. The pair met again in Manchester the following Monday, when Murray agreed to accompany Turing to the latter's house. A few weeks later Murray visited Turing's house again, and apparently spent the night there.

After Murray helped an accomplice to break into his house, Turing reported the crime to the police. During the investigation, Turing acknowledged a sexual relationship with Murray. Homosexual acts were illegal in the United Kingdom at that time, and so both were charged with gross indecency under Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885.

Turing was given a choice between imprisonment or probation conditional on his agreement to undergo hormonal treatment designed to reduce libido. He accepted chemical castration via oestrogen hormone injections."

P.S. Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued an apology for Turing's prosecution in 2009:

"Thousands of people have come together to demand justice for Alan Turing and recognition of the appalling way he was treated. While Turing was dealt with under the law of the time and we can't put the clock back, his treatment was of course utterly unfair and I am pleased to have the chance to say how deeply sorry I and we all are for what happened to him ... So on behalf of the British government, and all those who live freely thanks to Alan's work I am very proud to say: we're sorry, you deserved so much better."

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