If you were to think about LGBTQ+ heroes and icons, you possibly may think about the more recent celebrities such as Lady Gaga or Rupaul who use their platforms to raise awareness for the LGBTQ+ community. This week's blog is going to focus on the people who made history just by being themselves.
Let’s look at some of the very first icons/heroes below:
Turing was a highly credited mathematician who helped within artificial intelligence and computer science. He also played a major role in World War 2 by helping to break several German codes
In the ’50s, Alan told the police that he had experienced a homosexual relationship resulting in him being arrested for gross indecency and was then chemically castrated which lead to his death in 1954 due to cyanide poising.
In 2013, Turing was given a posthumous royal pardon and three years after, the UK government announced it would posthumously pardon other men convicted of abolished sexual offences which were noted as the “Turing Law”.
Christine Jorgensen lived a quiet life in the Bronx, New York.
Christine described her experience as feeling like a woman trapped inside a man's body, leading her to take the opportunity to travel to Copenhagen, Denmark to embark on her gender therapy journey.
After completing hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery in the 1950s, Christine returned to the US and became an overnight celebrity due to the media’s fascination with her story.
Billie Jean King became one of the most famous names in professional tennis and earned an incredible 39 Grand Slam titles during the years of 1966 and 1976. In 1981, King was revealed to be a lesbian by the media and even though her publicists told her to deny the claim, King confirmed that she was a lesbian and became the first openly gay athlete.
Marsha P Johnson also know as the “Saint of Christopher Street” was an important queer-rights activist and one of the key figures at the Stonewall protests.
As the Stonewall riots kick-started a wave of support for the LGBTQ+ community, Marsha knew there was still an uphill battle climb. They and Sylvia Rivera (good friend and another activist) founded STAR which was able to support gay and trans individuals who had been left homeless.
Today marks the start of the second week for the LGBTQ+ History Month and your Students' Union invites you to celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month with us and to attend this week's events:
Sign up now to join the celebrations and don’t forget to get in touch with us if you need help with anything, including the issues discussed in relation to LGBTQ+ History Month.