5 LGBTQIA+ Names in Tech You Should Know
This month marks Pride Month.
When it comes to diversity, the tech industry could still have a long way to go. But, celebrating the research, inventions, discoveries, and hard work of those who fought their own uphill battle in tech can raise awareness of the issues they faced and develop our understanding and advocacy of diversity in tech today.
We’ll start with Alan Turing. Turing was born in Maida Vale in London, he was a computer scientist and was highly influential in the development of AI and computation.
He’s considered the father of AI and theoretical computer science, he worked at Bletchley Park during WW2 and produced the Turing Machine – a machine considered to be a model of the first ever computer.
Turing was prosecuted in 1952 for homosexual acts and was treated very poorly by authorities as a direct result of his sexual orientation.
He has since been granted a posthumous pardon from the Queen and an official public apology from the government. His legacy includes The Turing Institute, a hub for AI advances and research as well as his face being used on the British £50 note.
In 2019, the British public voted him the greatest person of the 20th Century.
Tang is a Taiwanese free software programmer and Digital Minister of Taiwan and is widely considered high on the list of the ten greatest Taiwanese computing personalities.
It’s been reported that Tang has an IQ of 180. She is the first transgender and the first non-binary official in the top executive cabinet in Taiwan.
By the time she was 19, she had already worked in California’s Silicon Valley and an entrepreneur and held positions in software companies.
On her transgenderism, Tang said, "I've been shutting reality off, and lived almost exclusively on the net for many years, because my brain knows for sure that I am a woman, but the social expectations demand otherwise."
John ‘Maddog’ Hall
Jon is known as Maddog for his lack of control over his temper (although is said to have calmed down more recently).
He was CTO of now defunct computer appliance company Koolu and is now chair of the Linux Professional Institute, software engineer and founder of the Brazilian IoT.
John ‘Maddog’ Hall came out as gay on Alan Turing’s birthday and referenced the father of AI by acknowledging that the computer science industry is a “haven” for LGBTQIA+ people because it’s an industry full of modern think and open minded people.
Caitlin is the Head of AR hardware at Meta, is No. 5 on Fast Company’s third annual Queer 50 list and is an advocate of mentoring and helping women in tech early on in their careers.
Caitlin’s primary goals as Head of AR is to connect the physical world with Augmented Reality in a way that is comfortable and accessible for all.
She say that including technology that doesn’t yet exist within comfortable headsets is one of the hardest problems our industry has tried to tackle in a long time.”
Caitlin Kalinowski is also on the Board of Axon, as well as on the strategic board of Lesbians Who Tech, the largest women’s tech conference in California and the largest LGBTQ professional network in the world.
One of Vivian’s focusses at Diligent Robotics is social intelligence within robotics, for example, creating robotics to help older people.
Chu views the company she co-founded as one with a dynamic and diverse outlook when it comes to hiring. She has said that she knew her company would be viewed differently with an LGBTQIA+ and Asian co-founder, but that’s something she uses to her advantage to make Diligent a more appealing company for everyone.