Alan Turing will be the face of the Bank of England’s new £50 note

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The Bank of England has announced that Alan Turing’s will appear on British £50 notes starting 2021.

“Alan Turing was an outstanding mathematician whose work has had an enormous impact on how we live today,” Bank of England governor Mark Carney said. “As the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, as well as a war hero, Alan Turing’s contributions were far ranging and path breaking. Turing is a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand.”

Turing was a computer scientist whose innovative thinking was integral to breaking Nazi codes during World War II. Despite his heroic deeds, he was deemed a criminal less than a decade after the end of the war when he was found guilty of having sex with a man. He was sentenced to chemical castration in 1952 and eventually driven to suicide.

“It’s important that we remember and recognise the impact of LGBT figures throughout history, so it’s great that Alan Turing will be the face on the new £50 bank note,” Kim Sanders, director of communications at LGBTQ+ rights organisation Stonewall in the U.K, said in a statement. “It’s vital that we celebrate LGBT history, which is often less visible, and make sure that we represent the diversity of those who paved the way before us.”

Years after his death, Turing’s early contributions to technology have become more fully embraced, materialising in a movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch, an official royal pardon in 2013, and other accolades.

The Bank of England received 227,299 nominations after it put a call out for suggestions for a scientist that should be featured on the £50 note. Finalists included Ada Lovelace and Stephen Hawking. The photo of Turing will be a 1951 portrait, his signature from the visitor’s book at the famed Bletchley Park, where code breaking efforts were concentrated during the war, and a quote of his from a 1949 interview with the Times of London: “This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be.”

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Why Kink belongs at Pride

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Earlier this month, just weeks before the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, a Twitter user shared a since-deleted viral tweet directed at Pride goers. It contained a number of statements about the nature of Pride, with one particular remark sparking a string of intra-community discourse: “Please don’t bring your k*nks/fet*shes to pride, there are minors @ pride and this can sexualise the event.”

Debate quickly followed within the queer community, calling into question the place of public displays of kink and BDSM at queer events.

Some agreed with the original tweet, assenting that wearing fetish gear or publicly expressing one’s sexuality would violate the consent of those present, as it could make people feel uncomfortable or triggered.

Others challenged these sentiments. “Kinks, sex, and protest are all inherent parts of pride,” wrote Nicolette Mason on Twitter. “One of the core tenets of pride is liberation and working against cultural shaming,” wrote a user under the handle @atty_boy. “Calling to make pride ‘kid-friendly’ implies that celebrating sexuality and kink openly is bad. Normalizing these things is a GOAL of pride.”

Wherever you stand on the issue, the fact remains that BDSM, subversive sexuality, and leather culture have enjoyed a long history within the LGBTQ+ rights movement, and such public displays of sexuality are driven by much more than libido or countercultural impulses — they’re an inherent expression of queer culture and sexuality, and as such, deserve a place at Pride as much as anything.

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Lasting Marks

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The story of sixteen men put on trial for sadomasochism in the dying days of Thatcher’s Britain was told by the police, the prosecution and the tabloid press — but not by those in the dock.

Lasting Marks is the story of a group of men, brought together through their shared sexual desires, and the vice investigation (named ‘Operation Spanner’) that followed when the police acquired a video tape of these acts being performed, Lyne delves into a somewhat forgotten, historic case in this informative and engaging film.

Troye Sivan on being effeminate

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“I have to get comfortable with the fact that I am kind of effeminate sometimes–or really effeminate sometimes. That I want to paint my nails. Overcoming all those stupid rules that society embeds in you as a kid about gender and sexuality is a conscious task. I have almost exclusively LGBT people around me [now]. That instilled a sense of confidence in me. That I have every reason to be proud of who I am.”

Read the whole interview with Troye over here.

2 Boys, 1 Cup

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2000 years old, worth £1.8 million, banned from the US, not publicly exhibited until 1999. Meet history’s most expensive piece of gay porn: The Warren Cup

One side depicts a man (the active participant or erastes) engaging in anal sex with a young man (the catamite, eromenos, or passive participant), who lowers himself onto the erastes using a rope or support from the ceiling in roughly the modern sexual position of reverse cowgirl.

Meanwhile a boy, perhaps a slave, watches surreptitiously from behind a door — the inferior status of a slave in Roman eyes would make him suitable to this role of voyeur.

The other side depicts two young men making love. Both scenes also include draped textiles in the background, as well as a kithara (lyre) in the former scene and auloi (pipes) in the latter. These, along with the careful delineation of ages and status and the wreaths worn by the youths, all suggest a cultured, elite, Hellenised setting with music and entertainment.

Found in this essay about “boys love” in art

Ronan Parke just came out

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To the surprise of exactly no one Ronan Parke came out as gay in an interview with Attitude. While many people never harboured any doubt about him not being straight the singer and former Britain’s Got Talent finalist never talked about his sexuality in public.

It looks like his former label was not comfortable with the possibility of his orientation alienating teenage girls which they considered to be his target audience.  If that’s the case it would just once again show how disconnected major record labels like Sony are from reality. If anything, a queer heartthrob like Ronan would be even more of an idol for a generation that grew up on Tumblr and fanfiction.net.

“I remember trying to come out to my parents: I was young – I can’t remember how old I was, around 7 or 8 – and I went downstairs to the lounge and stood in front of the TV and got the remote and went ‘Mummy, daddy, I have something to tell you!’ All dramatic [laughs] And they just went ‘Yeah, yeah, we know, you’re gay’, and they just got the remote and unmuted the TV! I was like [dramatic gasp], ‘What?! But they just always knew. And after that, I just never had to [come out] to my friends. But I’ve always identified as a gay man and I’ve always been very proud to say it.”

Read the whole interview over here.

Alan Turing named most iconic figure of 20th century in UK

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The BBC named Alan Turing the most ‘iconic’ figure of the 20th Century on Tuesday. Turing was instrumental in cracking Nazi codes during World War II. But he was later chemically castrated for being gay and committed suicide. He’s commonly known as the founding father of computer science.

Broadcaster Chris Packham gave an inspiring and heartwarming speech commemorating his life:

To win the accolade, Turing beat figures such as Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, Ernest Shackleton, Pablo Picasso, David Bowie and Muhammad Ali.

In 2013, Queen Elizabeth II pardoned Turing for his 1952 conviction for having sex with another man. Some 49,000 gay men were convicted for homosexuality. They include poet, wit and playwright Oscar Wilde.

The Pink Triangle

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When the Nazi Party seized power in Germany in July 1933, the newly installed dictatorship lost no time to persecute and murder minority groups, including Jews, queer people, the Romani, Socialists, Social Democrats and other political opponents. The Nazis built a network of concentration camps throughout Germany, where these “undesirable” groups were detained.

This persecution continued following the outbreak of World War II in 1939 and, between 1941 and 1945, the Nazi Party systematically murdered six million European Jews—as part of a plan known as “The Final Solution to the Jewish Problem”—in extermination camps and mass shootings. This genocide is referred to as the Holocaust, or the Shoah in Hebrew.

In total, up to 17 million people, including thousands of gay and bisexual men, were systematically killed at the hands of the Nazis.

Holocaust Memorial Day is held on January 27 annually—marking the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp—and remembers the millions of people killed by the Nazis and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

Nazi persecution of queer people

Under Nazi rule, the persecution of queer men intensified, although gay sex between men had already been illegal since 1871. It’s estimated that the Nazis imprisoned more than 50,000 gay men, including an estimated 5,000 to 15,000 men who were sent to concentration camps, according to research by historian Rüdiger Lautmann.

Although sex between women was not officially illegal in Nazi Germany, lesbians were also persecuted. But their persecution is “much harder to trace because they weren’t included in the penal code and there was no specific categorisation of gay women in concentration camps (although some were made to wear a black triangle badge used to denote “asocial” prisoners).

Trans people, too, are known to have been persecuted under the Nazis, including being sent to concentration camps. According to Transgender Day of Remembrance, in 1938 the Institute of Forensic Medicine recommended that the “phenomena of transvestism” be “exterminated from public life.”

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