There’s every likelihood that Turing killed himself because of the way he was persecuted by the military for his homosexuality. He was very depressed after the ‘chemical castration’ that was forced upon him – he grew breasts as a consequence – and his career was ruined. Given his genius in the field of computing, who knows what technological and economic progress were lost to this country by the homophobia that destroyed him? It would be fitting for a statue of him (in uniform) to be put in Trafalgar Square alongside all the other military statues – as a permanent reminder of how much damage homophobia in the armed forces has done to both individuals in the forces and to the country as a whole…
I’ve always admired Alan Turing. Every time I read what happened to him, I can’t get over it. I know people will say it was a different time, but to treat a human being like that is disgusting. When we learnt about him at school all of that was ignored. I hope it’s not now.
There’s a statue in Manchester:
There’s a memorial in Manchester:
It’s about time this unsung hero got the recognition he so thoroughly deserved. I’m sure he had his demons, even beyond his homosexuality. They say there is a thin line between genius and madness, and I suspect he had his fair share of both. I go with Mark, he needs a lot more than a crappy little blue plaque, Alan Turing deserves a proper statue in a prominent British place.
Mark, Rob and Iris I am with you all, this man is known by many for what he has done, but so few know how and why he was persecuted for his homosexuality.
There is so much homophobia in jingoistic nationalism – that is why Turing has never been recognised as a national hero until now(and it’s only just starting). This man contributed hugely to the defeat of Nazism and it should be shouted from the housetops.
Awarding Turing the Victoria Cross would be a good start for making things right along with a statue at Bletchley Park. After all he is the founder of the computer age with his work at Bletchley Park and Manchester university.
How edifying to hear all of you comment on Turing this way. a statue in Trafalgar Square! Wow, now you’re talking. He broke the Nazi codes, for gawd’s sake!!! Victoria Cross and apology to his family!
Turing is probably one of the best role models gay men have: a bit geeky, but he achieved a great thing in his code-work, but also in his other work (that still sets the standard – look up the “Turing test”). Better than all the celebs and lovies: he made a real diffeence and he was ordinary.
It’s an insult that he has been airbrushed out of the history books, almost as bad as the hypocricy of using his genius when needed and then abandonning him when no longer needed. When I think of those in the Establishment who were protected without any contribution to our country….
He deserves posthumous recognition – an Order of Merit would be acceptable – and proper recognition as a gay man working for his country.
While others may say “PC”, such people are for what Gay History Month is for: to remind the World (or at least our children) of what our sort has done for them
Did you know that the bitten apple logo for Apple Mac computers celebrates Alan Turing and the method of his death. He is said to have bitten into an apple having injected cyanide into it.
The apple on Macs is a fantastic, if subtle, tribute to him and his work and to his sexuality.
Paul: It’s interesting you should say that. The original Apple logo in the days of the Apple II was in rainbow stripes. I wonder if there was any significance?