So, this is doing the rounds of social media and is not true. He took the hormones, he had no choice. Cool man. Sad end. but the truth must be told.
In January 1952, Turing met a man called Arnold Murray outside a cinema in Manchester. After a lunch date, Turing invited Murray to spend the weekend with him at his house, an invitation which Murray accepted although he did not show up. The pair met again in Manchester the following Monday, when Murray agreed to accompany Turing to the latter’s house. A few weeks later Murray visited Turing’s house again, and apparently spent the night there.
After Murray helped an accomplice to break into his house, Turing reported the crime to the police. During the investigation, Turing acknowledged a sexual relationship with Murray. Homosexual acts were illegal in the United Kingdom at that time, and so both were charged with gross indecency under Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885.
Turing was given a choice between imprisonment or probation conditional on his agreement to undergo hormonal treatment designed to reduce libido. He accepted chemical castration via injections of stilboestrol, a synthetic oestrogen hormone.
Turing’s conviction led to the removal of his security clearance, and barred him from continuing with his cryptographic consultancy for the Government Communications Headquarters , the British signals intelligence agency that had evolved from GCCS in 1946. At the time, there was acute public anxiety about spies and homosexual entrapment by Soviet agents,because of the recent exposure of the first two members of the Cambridge Five, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean, as KGB double agents. Turing was never accused of espionage but, as with all who had worked at Bletchley Park, was prevented from discussing his war work.
From a friend……
So he really had a heart of gold that man. Not only was he a towering genius – he was a real gentleman.
They are still arguing as to whether his death was suicide or not. We’ve heard [at the centenary conference in King's College] that he had bought only the day before a couple of new socks, and he had a ticket in his pocket for the theatre. His suicide must have been a moment of momentary panic, or chaos, or ‘can’t stand it any longer’. I think he simply collapsed.
Because at the time he was suffering from being forced to have injections of female sex hormones to prevent his homosexuality. He’d been convicted for gross indecency. So my view is that it was a suicide, but on a momentary impulse.
He contributed so many things, but his single greatest achievement was the stored programme computer, which we all take for granted now.
Alan Turing was once a hero in England.
Then, in 1952, Turing was outed, leading to a very public trial, conviction and chemically castrated for “gross indecency.” He killed himself two years later.
Now, 60 years on, the British government is honoring Turing by including him in a series of twelve new “Britons of Distinction” stamps set to be released next month.
George Broadhead, secretary of the Humanist group the Pink Triangle Trust, celebrated Turing’s inclusion in a press release. “This is richly deserved,” he wrote. “It is well known that Turing was gay, but perhaps not so well known that he was a staunch atheist. There are many other famous gay atheists past and present — Christopher Marlowe, Maynard Keynes, Stephen Fry and and Michael Cashman among them — but Turing is probably the most notable since his breaking of the Enigma Code went such a long way in saving the UK from defeat in the last war.”
Though Turing’s picture is not featured on the new stamp – one of his eponymous machines is, instead – the news is just the latest step in a decades-long effort to redeem Turing’s image. Perhaps the biggest development came in 2009, when then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued an official apology for Turing’s treatment.
“While Mr Turing was dealt with under the law of the time and we can’t put the clock back, his treatment was of course utterly unfair and I am pleased to have the chance to say how deeply sorry I and we all are for what happened to him,” Brown said at the time. “Alan and the many thousands of other gay men who were convicted, as he was convicted, under homophobic laws, were treated terribly.
A new petition is now asking that the government to offer an official posthumous pardon for Turing. One of Turing’s supporters, programmer John Graham-Cumming, actually opposes this petition, because it still assumes other gay men convicted under since-scrapped laws were guilty of something wrong.
“You either pardon all the gay men convicted (including, most importantly, those that are still living with criminal convictions) or you do nothing,” he contended last month.
GREAT MAN. LOVE HIS WRY SMILE ABOVE. HE WAS LIKE THE STEVE JOBS OF HIS DAY. EXCEPT HE WAS A GENIUS AND COULD ACTUALLY CREATE.
HMMMMM LEO PLAYING ANOTHER GAY MAN? GREAT STORY. DO NOT WANT RON HOWARD ANYWHERE NEAR IT. HE DE GAYED ‘BEAUTIFUL MIND’, WOULD HATE TO THINK WHAT HE WOULD DO TO TURING’S LIFE STORY. FROM DEADLINE…..
To anyone with an interest in those Enigma codebreakers who helped win WWII and the math geniuses whose work led to the creation of the earliest computers, then the name Alan Turing holds quite a lot of fascination. This British historical figure most prominent from 1940 through 1955 is also the subject of a big spec script sale today. First-time screenwriter Graham Moore’s The Imitation Game was snapped up by Warner Bros in a 7-figure deal. I’ve learned that the studio outbid half a dozen indie companies because Leonardo DiCaprio ”has the inside track” to play the lead and was chasing the project. But so far no talent is attached. I hear Ron Howard is interested in directing.