The LGBTQIA student group at University of Michigan School of Information

In honor of LGBT History Month, IAS will be spotlighting an LGBT person that influenced information science each day of the month on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.  If you have an idea for a blog post this month, please let us know by using the contact form on this site.  We want to hear from you!  Who do you think are the most influential LGBT persons in Information Science?

The first person we are highlighting this month is Alan Turing.  Widely considered to be one of the fathers of computer science and modern cryptanalysis, Turing was prosecuted for homosexual acts in the UK in 1952.

Day two is related to Health Informatics and takes a look at S. Josephine Baker.  A turn of the century public health doctor who traced several typhoid outbreaks to one healthy person, Mary Mallon (aka Typhoid Mary).

Jeannettte Howard Foster is a librarian and groundbreaking lesbian researcher.  She published Sex Variant Women in Literature in the 1950s (although it would not gain recognition until the 1970s) and paved the as a pioneer of literary analysis in regard to lesbian, bisexual and transgender themes.

Daniel C. Tsang, UM MLS Alum, Data Scientist, Asian American and LGBT activist. Find out more about him and his work on his Faculty Profile page at UC Irvine

Lynn Conway is a transgender woman who worked at Xerox PARC in the 1960s and at U of M. She is credited for developing VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) design for microchips. Read her autobiographical article about VLSI and digital design

Barbara Grier, one of the founders of Naiad publishing, Grier donated the 14,000 volumes of lesbian books she had been collecting since the age of 16 to the San Francisco Public Library. Learn more about her here

Our LGBT History Month Information Icon today is Jon “maddog” Hall, Executive Director at Linux

Ann Allen Shockley, librarian and author, this ally has written extensively about interracial and lesbian relationships

Next is Maurice Oldfield, a British Intelligence Officer and head of MI6 from 1973-1978

Today’s LGBT History Month Icon is Ruth Ellis. She was the first woman to run a printing business in the city of Detroit and a strong LGBT activist. The Ruth Ellis Center is named in her honor.

Next up is Audre Lorde. Librarian, writer and activist.

More tangential today, Virginia Prince was a publisher, but better known for popularizing the term transgender

Katherine Bement Davis, social scientist and economist, she was not only an LGBT activist, but also a prison reformer

J. Edgar Hoover, a potentially controversial pick, was Director of the FBI and created the first centralized fingerprint database

Pearl Hart, born in Traverse City Michigan, she was a lesbian, lawyer and social justice advocate

Carl Van Vechten, bisexual writer and archivist

Dorr Legg, Ann Arbor native, this gay man was the founder and editor of ONE, Inc. as well as an interracial activist

Chris Hughes, one of the founders of Facebook

Peter Thiel, co-founder of Paypal known for his controversial Fellowships that encourage young entrepreneurs to skip college,

Dana (Contreras) McCallum, also known as Dana Danger is transgender and an engineer for Twitter

Frank Kameny, another who is only tangentially related to information science, Frank was an astronomer in the Army’s Map Service and became a leading LGBT activist in the 1960s

Sophie Wilson, transgender computer scientist

Sir Frances Bacon, 17th century English philosopher of science; called “the high priest of modern science” for elucidating principles of the scientific method

Sonja Kovalevskaya, the first major Russian female mathemetician was also the first woman to work as an editor for a scientific journal

Joel Spolsky, gay man and co-founder of Stack Overflow, who also worked for some time at Microsoft on the Excel team,

Jennifer Diane Reitz, trans woman, webcomic author, and programmer, she founded the site

Tim Gill, computer scientist, software entrepreneur and LGBT rights activist

Ric Weiland was lead programmer and developer and one of the first 5 employees at Microsoft; his philanthropy was centered around LGBT activism including $65 million to HIV/AIDS and gay rights organization following his death

Marshall McKusick and Eric Allman are both computer programmers and have been partners for over 30 years,

Tom Coats, technologist, blogger, LGBT activist and e-community developer has worked for the likes of Yahoo!

Finally, we’ll end the month with Megan Smith, CEO for Planet Out, she later went on to become a Vice President at Google


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: