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Science, engineering and maths to be LGBT History Month 2013 theme

Bletchley Park, former home to Alan Turing to host an event to launch next year's LGBT History Month

Steph Mann

Mon, 12 Nov 2012 13:48:11 GMT | Updated 4 years today

Bletchley Park, former home to one of the most famous World War Two code breakers, Alan Turing will this week host an event to launch the 2013 science, engineering and maths-themed LGBT History Month


Mathematician and  computer scientist Turing helped crack German secret codes during the Second World War, saving thousands of lives as a result. Turing was a gay man, but because homosexuality at the time was illegal he was persecuted by the authorities and eventually took his own life in 1954.


Not only does Turing's memory bring together the themes of this year's LGBT History Month, he also represents the homophobia many still face today. Turing is often referred to as the 'father of modern computing' and is a revered figurehead. The event also marks the centenary of Turing's birth, making the Bletchley launch the perfect place and time to raise the profile of LGBT people in similar fields.


The LGBT organisation Schools OUT, who are part of the event, campaign for schools to create environments where pupils can be out, proud and safe.  They hope that setting the launch at Bletchley will make schools around the country find inspiration in Turing's life and work.


The day itself will consist of a variety of events. Pupils from Milton Keynes and Birmingham will receive a tour of the estate as well as learning about the homophobia Turing faced, and also his accomplishments.


Schools OUT will conduct a sample lesson to show how positive LGBT images can be incorporated into the current curriculum. There will also be a debate about the LGBT community and science and a host of prominent LGBT speakers from various fields will be present.


One of the speakers, Elly Barnes (last year's Pink List number 1) who works for LGBT equality in schools, told DIVA:


"'February's LGBT History Month is an incredibly effective vehicle through which to educate our learners at all key stages about the achievements of LGBT people both living and dead. The celebration not only acknowledges and highlights LGBT people, it also provides schools with an inclusive LGBT curriculum which enlightens our communities thus creating an environment where young people and teachers can be who they want to be".


LGBT History month takes place throughout the UK in February 2013


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