The Point Foundation

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MISSION

The Point Foundation empowers promising lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students to achieve their full academic and leadership potential – despite the obstacles often put waving_gay_pride_flagbefore them – to make a significant impact on society.

The Point Foundation (Point) is the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) students of merit. Point promotes change through scholarship funding, mentorship, leadership development, and community service training.

SCHOLARSHIP FUNDING

Point provides a direct financial contribution toward the many different costs of attending the nation’s top educational institutions, such as tuition, housing, textbooks and class fees.

MENTORSHIP

boy-hoodiePoint mentors build rewarding, personal relationships and serve as exemplary role models for the organization’s scholars, as well as provide scholars with advice on academic and professional career decisions.

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

Point provides training in leadership development, accountability and advocacy for its scholars through its programs, conferences, and by providing scholars with internship opportunities at other nonprofits and leading companies.

COMMUNITY SERVICE TRAINING

Point promotes philanthropic efforts and a culture of giving back to community by requiring its scholars to work with their mentors to design and complete an annual community service project.

apply.jpgIMPACT

See how our efforts to empower promising LGBTQ students have left a permanent imprint on the landscape and made a significant impact on society.

The Situation

    • Those with degrees earn higher incomes, are healthier, and have lower rates of unemployment and poverty throughout their lives.1
    • smiley_del_orgullo_gay_3d_poster-rfbe9637d5f504e5581a47c12ef7a2aeb_awet_8byvr_512In academic years 2011-2013, debt incurred by undergraduate and graduate students averaged $28,720 and $43,524, respectively.2
    • One-third of LGBTQ students seeking financial aid reported delaying attending a four-year undergraduate and/or graduate program for reasons related to affordability or debt.3
    • Of those students, 41.3 percent cited lack of familial support as accounting for their lack of affordability.4students-hear-gay

    • Nearly 85 percent of students hear “gay” used in a negative way (e.g., “that’s so gay”) frequently or often in high school.5
    • Students who experienced victimization based on their sexual orientation reported higher levels of depression and lower levels of self-esteem than those who reported lower levels of such victimization.6
    • Nearly one-third of LGBTQ students drop out of high school, which is three times the national average.7one-third-of-lgbtq-graphic-2

  • Many students find that colleges are the first environments where organizations bd_prideaccept, teach, and offer companionship for students based on their sexuality. In fact, LGBTQ students seeking scholarships cite the presence of an on-campus LGBTQ center as the third most important factor when choosing a school.8
  • Youth who are out to their immediate family or out at school report higher levels of happiness, optimism, acceptance and support through multiple measures. Not surprisingly, they also report higher levels of in–person participation with LGBT organizations at school and in the community.9

Learn more about The Point Foundation or Apply


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The Elton John AIDS Foundation

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ABOUT US

aids-awareness-aids-red-ribbon-smiley-emoticon-000509-facebookWe fund frontline programmes that help to alleviate the pain – whether physical, emotional or financial – of those living with, affected by or at risk of HIV/AIDS, and to continue the fight against this worldwide pandemic so that no one is left behind.

OUR GOALS

AIDS is the most devastating modern day disease. By the end of the 20th century, 50 years worth of public health gains were annihilated by AIDS, which continues to destroy lives. Our vision today, along with thousands around the world, is to create an AIDS free future through science, support and most of all compassion.

NO MORE DISCRIMINATION

Elton John's Final Bow At Caesars Palace

Stigma is still HIV’s most deadly symptom. We have cheap, easy ways to test for HIV, and ever more effective drugs to treat the HIV virus. We cannot use them if people living with or very vulnerable to HIV are shunned, hidden, or denied their human rights. Compassion cures discrimination. It needs no special training or qualifications, just a belief that all people deserve the chance to protect themselves and others. Without compassion, we cannot create an AIDS free future.

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NO MORE HIV INFECTIONS

aids-awareness-magnetweb2We fund a huge range of projects – from mobile testing units at football matches to sending SMS text reminders to pregnant women. They all make HIV testing easy, affordable, reliable and above all are offered to everyone without judgement or discrimination. It’s essential that HIV testing is a routine part of public health. The work we fund is always linked to national systems, and we lobby governments ensure the structures are in place to maintain and expand them.read-more

NO MORE AIDS DEATHS

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HIV medicines are now available for as little as $100 a year. Enlightened donors, NGOs and governments have made them available to over 16 million people living with HIV. These medicines not only save lives, they make people living with the virus up to 96% less infectious. So it turns out compassion for those who are sick has also been the best prevention plan. We fund programmes that expand affordable, quality medical treatment to reach those who urgently need help and are still waiting.

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At the Elton John AIDS Foundation we believe that AIDS can be beaten. Our goal is to create an AIDS free future for everybody in this world. With enough support, love and creativity, we know this is possible.

OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP

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MR STANFORD’s Singapore umbrella is now available as part of the RED collection in partnership with the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Make a statement this winter with our printed canopy. each umbrella has nickel finishes, MR STANFORD engraved sliding tip cup, solid wood shaft and natural bark Chestnut handle.

MR STANFORD will be donating 70% of the Retail Price from our on line sales of the RED collection to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Learn more about The Elton John AIDS Foundation

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🇺🇸 The Tyler Clementi Foundation

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About the Tyler Clementi Foundation

boygirl3The Tyler Clementi Foundation is an organization created by the Clementi family which seeks to prevent bullying through inclusion, assertion of dignity and acceptance as a way to honor the memory of Tyler Clementi: a son, a brother and a friend.

In 2010, Tyler’s death became a global news story, highlighting the impact and consequences of bullying while sparking dialogue amongst parents, teachers, and students across the country. The story also linked to broader issues impacting youth and families such as LGBT inequality, safety in schools, youth in crisis, higher education support systems, and cyberbullying.

Not only does the foundation continue to carry the important message about the suicide risk facing many LGBT youth, which can be three to seven times more at risk for suicide giphythan other youth, but The Tyler Clementi Foundation recognises that our message of standing up to bullying speaks universally across all cultures and identities.

Since 2011, The Tyler Clementi Foundation was born out of the urgent need to address these bullying challenges facing vulnerable populations, especially LGBT and other victims of hostile social environments. Through programs such as #Day1, which provides free downloadable toolkits customised for different communities, the foundation encourages leadership in creating safe spaces where individuals are able to stand up to bullying and embrace diversity.

Tyler’s Story

Meet Tyler. His story inspires thousands.

tylerDecember 19, 1991 – September 22, 2010

Smart, talented and creative: Tyler Clementi was deeply loved by family and friends for his kind heart and bright spirit. At the young age of 18, he became a victim of a horrible act of cyber-harassment and humiliation. His story puts a human face on the consequences of cruelty, which has been faced by millions of others suffering in silence in their schools, colleges, teams, workplaces, or faith communities. Tyler’s story has inspired tens of thousands of youth and adults to be Upstanders in the face of bullying, harassment and humiliation across the globe.

Read about bullying statistics here.

A Passionate Young Man

Tyler could think outside the box.

He grew up with a passion for music. Tyler began playing the violin in the third grade and became an accomplished violinist. He 2539718-1843096140-fiddlperformed in numerous orchestras and was awarded with several accolades for his musical contributions.

Tyler was also an enthusiastic bicyclist and unicyclist.

By combining his knowledge with creativity and talent, he taught himself to play the violin while unicycling! He understood that we all must learn to embrace unique qualities in others and in ourselves.

Coming Out

Another quality Tyler learned to embrace was his young, gay self.

The summer after his high school graduation, Tyler had just begun the important journey of coming out to close family and friends. Tyler was brave and honest about who he was, but this was still a difficult, vulnerable time for him.

toolkitIn August of 2010, Tyler began studying at Rutgers University where he was excited to learn, grow and have the freedom to live openly as a gay man.

He began playing violin at the institution’s high level orchestra. Only a few weeks into his first semester, Tyler’s musical gifts earned him a seat in an orchestra comprised primarily of upperclassmen and graduate students. Tyler was one of only two incoming freshman who made the graduate school orchestra.

Targeted for humiliation

Within weeks, Tyler became the victim of a horrible act of cyber-harassment, a type of bullying or cruelty that takes place using the internet.

At college, Tyler was immersed in his studies and violin practice. One night, Tyler asked imvulgbticonhis dorm mate, Dharun Ravi, for some privacy because he had a date. Ravi agreed but what Tyler didn’t know was that Ravi was planning a horrible act of humiliation; he secretly pointed his computer’s webcam at Tyler’s bed, and then left.

During one spying session, Tyler’s roommate captured him in an intimate act and invited toolkitothers to view it online. Many other students at the university contributed to this invasion of privacy by not standing up to report or stop what was happening to Tyler.

Tyler discovered what his abuser had done. When he viewed his roommate’s Twitter feed, he learned he had widely become a topic of ridicule in this new social environment. He also found out that his roommate was planning a second attempt to broadcast from the webcam.

Several days later, Tyler Clementi ended his life by jumping off the George Washington Bridge. He was eighteen years old.

#Day1

#Day1 Works by….

  • A person in authority leading the pledge
  • Clearly stating behavior expectations and responsibilities
  • Addressing the issue early (on Day 1!)
  • Getting verbal confirmation back

Download your free two-page handout specifically designed for your community ripby clicking here

#Day1 has worked with many organizations and celebrities sharing our strategy to end bullying! Learn why it works, how it will help your school and how you can get in touch with us to share your Day 1 Stories.

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Gay Men’s Chorus of L.A. Honors Ridgewood’s Tyler Clementi Foundation

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Newton Abbot College Awarded Anti-Bullying Accolade

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“Teamwork allows common people to obtain uncommon results”. ~ Pat Summit

NEWTON Abbot College has won another award for their anti-bullying work at the school. imagesFollowing their selection as one of only three national showcase schools for their anti-bullying work, fourteen Anti-Bullying ambassador students and two members of staff travelled to London for the invitation-only Diana Award Anti-Bullying event.

The students were greeted upon arrival by some of the Diana Award staff members and VIP guests for the event, including internet vlogging sensation, Marcus Butler, former Doctor Who, Christopher Ecclestone, and Union J member, JJ Hamblett, before participating in the main showcase event.

Untitled-2The school video of Newton Abbot College was shown for the first time and the College’s anti-bullying team was invited on stage to receive their Diana Award Anti-Bullying Champion accolade.

Year 10 anti-bullying prefect Zoe McAuliffe said: “The event was absolutely fantastic and I feel extremely proud to be part of both Newton Abbot College and its anti-bullying work, as we are the only school in the area to have been recognised in such an amazing way.

“Anti-bullying work in schools is so important and I am looking forward to becoming more involved next year and helping other students to stay safe and happy in their college environment.”

Head of House and Head of Anti-Bullying, Anne Farnham, added: “The Facebook event was an amazing opportunity for the College to celebrate the many years of anti-bullying work we have put in.

god_said_no_12The showcase accolade and subsequent Champion Award is the recognition of all the hard work, initiative and enthusiasm shown by our students over the last few years. I could not be more proud of the team, the work they do and the College as a whole.”

Article by HEDanielClark for Herald Express  Posted: July 15, 2016

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KINDNESS DAY AWARD 2016

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Heads Together ~ A Mental Health Campaign

California public schools adopt pro-LGBT curriculum

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Heads Together ~ A Mental Health Campaign

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“Bottling everything up can become self-destructive and as men we can be socially awkward. CALM offers a way to break the silence.”~ Esco Williams, musician

Through our work with young people, emergency response, homeless charities, and with veterans, we have seen time and time again that unresolved mental health problems lie at the heart of some of our greatest social challenges.

-king-of-the-worldToo often, people feel afraid to admit that they are struggling with their mental health. This fear of prejudice and judgement stops people from getting help and can destroy families and end lives. Heads Together wants to help people feel much more comfortable with their everyday mental well-being and have the practical tools to support their friends and family.

Being the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon Charity of the Year is the perfect springboard for the Heads Together campaign. We cannot wait to see hundreds of runners hitting the streets of London next April to end the stigma and change the conversation on mental health once and for all.

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry are spearheading the Heads Together campaign to end stigma around mental health. Heads Together aims to change the national conversation on mental health and well-being, and will be a partnership with inspiring charities with decades of experience in tackling stigma, raising awareness, and providing vital help for people with mental health challenges.

There has been huge progress made to tackle stigma surrounding mental health in recent decades, but it still remains a key issue driven by negative associations, experience and language. Through this campaign, Their Royal Highness’s are keen to build on the great work that is already taking place across the country, to ensure that people feel comfortable with their everyday mental well-being, feel able to support their friends and families through difficult times, and that stigma no longer prevents people getting help they need.

They are privileged to be working with partner charities who have achieved so much in tackling stigma, raising awareness, and providing vital help for people with mental health challenges. The team of charity partners working on Heads Together covers a wide range of mental health issues that are close to The Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry’s passions.

They are:

There will be a number of ways to get involved and show your support for the campaign. Sign up to join the campaign and be kept up to date here and apply to run for Heads Together in the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon. Heads Together runners will raise vital funds and awareness for our charity partners and play their part in starting conversations on mental health with their friends, families and workmates.

Heads Together is an initiative coordinated by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, registered charity no. 1132048

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U.N. Panel Moves to Curb Bias Against L.G.B.T. People

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GENEVA The United Nations’ main human rights body on Thursday adopted measures to strengthen protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, despite fierce resistance from Muslim and African countries.

smilie-teacher2The body, the 47-member Human Rights Council, voted to appoint an independent expert to monitor and report on violence against individuals on the basis of sexual orientation rainbowand gender identity. The initiative passed, 23 to 18, with six abstentions.

The vote came after a heated debate during which supporters invoked the victims of the Orlando, Fla., massacre and opponents denounced the measure on religious and cultural grounds.

The debate lasted nearly four hours and was peppered with procedural motions and amendments intended to scuttle the initiative or water it down.

The expert will look into ways to curb violence against gay, bisexual and transgender people; report annually on developments; and support national efforts to combat violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation.

But the Saudi Arabian ambassador, Faisal Bin Hassan, filed a motion to block the resolution, saying that it “ran counter to our beliefs and culture.”

Pakistan’s ambassador, Tehmina Janjua, saying the resolution promoted “certain notions, concepts and lifestyles on which there is no consensus,” proposed a series of amendments on behalf of Islamic states that would have stripped all reference to sexual orientation and gender identity.

“Remember Orlando,” the Mexican ambassador, Jorge Lomónaco, told the packed council chamber. “Let us give hope and dignity to millions.”

discriminationThe Nigerian envoy, Peters Omologbe Emuze, objected even to the title of the resolution: “Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

The British ambassador, Julian Braithwaite, said in response: “By voting against this resolution you are voting to block the U.N. from trying to stop violence and discrimination. How is that acceptable?”

“This affects people in this room, and people in my team who are L.G.B.T.,” he continued. “Are you saying it is O.K. to discriminate against them based on their sexual orientation and gender identity? To hit, torture, or possibly kill them? Because that is what you are supporting, if you vote against this resolution.”

Human rights groups hailed the outcome.

peace“By creating a U.N. expert, the Human Rights Council has given official voice to those facing violations because of their sexual orientation or gender identity the world over,” John Fisher, the Geneva director of Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.

“There can be no turning back.”

Article  for the New York Times bJune 30, 2016

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Read Secretary John Kerry’s full statement on the historic vote on the‪ #‎HRC32‬ Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to create an Independent Expert to address challenges facing #LGBT persons

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Fanning hints at implementing trans service in Pride video

Untitled-2“It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get.” ~ Confucius

smileys-cz-7Weeks after his confirmation as the first-ever openly gay Army secretary, Eric Fanning has created a video celebrating June as Pride month on behalf of the U.S. Army. In the aftermath of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal, Fanning recalls that just four years ago the Pentagon hosted its first official celebration commemorating Pride for its service members and Defence Department officials. 

Untitled-1“We’ve grown stronger as a military, and as a nation, as we’ve worked to be more inclusive and open up opportunities for individuals who previously didn’t have them, opportunities for people to be part of the greatest mission there is: Defending our nation’s security,” Fanning said.

Ticking off progress in implementing racial integration after World War II, allowing openly gay people to serve and permitting women in combat, Fanning hints at removing another barrier in the armed forces — the ban on openly transgender waving-soldierservice — in the time ahead.

“As we continue to open up opportunities for even more Americans, we get closer to the full American Dream that we represent and protect,” Fanning said. “The threats we face as a nation are growing more complex, and we are better open to meet those challenges in we pull from the best all our country has to offer.”

The Pride video comes on the heels of an interview in which Fanning participated on the smilie-don3“Today Show” with Matt Launer, who asked the secretary if he appreciates being referred to smileys-cz-15as the first openly gay Army secretary, or would prefer that wasn’t the case.

“I’ve gotten used to the fact that this is going to be a part of anytime I get a new job or something,” Fanning said. “When it first happened, I was more bothered by it because I didn’t quite have the track record that people know now, and I wanted to focus on qualifications. Now I embrace it. It’s so important to so many people, I realize, and something I didn’t have 25 years.”

Transgender people are currently barred from military service as a result of medical regulation. Defence Secretary Ashton Carter has ordered a review of the policy with regard to implementing open service, but it appears to have stalled out at the Pentagon.

rainbowIn an interview with the Washington Blade in 2013, Fanning became the first senior defence official to voice support for openly transgender service. His uniform counterpart, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, is not on record with that view and is quoted in a recent New York Times article as citing “serious significant issues need to be completely vetted and studied.”

Article  by Chris Johnson posted June 3, 2016 for The Washington Blade

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Mexico says yes to marriage equality

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This week during a ceremony to commemorate the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT)

President Enrique Peña Nieto announced that he would be sending a package of initiatives to Congress to legalize same-sex marriage in Mexico.

mexicoThe initiatives would imply a constitutional reform to Article 4 establishing that marriages should be celebrated without discrimination due to ethnic origin, disability, social or health condition, religion, and now gender or sexual orientation. Furthermore, the Federal Civil Code would also be reformed to ensure marriage equality. 

This historic moment follows and alludes to key rulings by the Supreme Court of Justice, which last year established that state bans against same-sex marriage were unconstitutional; since the ruling is considered “jurisprudential thesis”, it didn’t invalidate existing state laws, couples still needed to sue the state in order to be married. Thus the President’s action eliminates this legal move and establishes the right to marry permanently in the Constitution and Civil Code

1285354-CincoDeMayo-038Growing up in Mexico City, I experienced a dynamic, cosmopolitan city filled with diversity and novelty. However, one thing missing from the majestic views of the Mexican capital were rainbow flags; there was a vibrant gay community but it was usually unseen, confined within the spectrum of its own sub-culture. People knew of “gays” but there wasn’t any interest in having a serious discussion of their rights. Stereotypes and a lack of information severely hindered people speaking out about their sexual orientation and gender identity. That social environment only added to the numerous questions, fears, and insecurities I was overwhelmed with when I realized I was gay, and the much needed conversations to adequately address the needs of my community seemed far way.

a104abdf008736cc243c9f4e9acdd51eEven though the legislative process will now have to take its due course, this announcement is an enormous step towards the inclusion and defence of the Mexican LGBT community. Despite significant legal progress in measures targeting discrimination in health services, labour rights and bullying, according to the 2010 National Survey on Discrimination in Mexico (ENADIS), 52% of those surveyed believe that the main issues for LGBT people is discrimination, followed by a lack of acceptance (26.2%) and stigma (6.2%). Even more daunting, 4 out of 10 people would not be willing to share their household with someone who is gay. 

1285379-tn_CincoDeMayo-003This announcement, and the full participation of the federal government in commemorating IDAHOT, continued to lift the veil that has shrouded past conversations about LGBT rights. The fact that the President, and all the ministries and agencies that make up the Executive engaged in symbolic actions of support—such as changing their social media icons to support LGBT rights on this date for just the second time in Mexico’s history—is worth recognition. Even more so, the fact that a president openly discussed the freedom of sexual orientation and gender identity in terms of public policy and guaranteed constitutional rights is paramount. 

These reforms do not only impact couples that want to get married—it impacts every single member of the LGBT community that has felt ignored, that had to hide his or her mexican_girlsexual orientation or gender identify, that endured bullying, rejection, violence, discrimination and even death. This goes beyond “acceptance” by the general public, this is about equality, rights, and standing against discrimination. Through these initiatives, Mexico voiced an historic sí in favor of marriage equality, and permanently opened the door that promotes the visibility and inclusion of LGBT people and their needs in public policy and law. This is certainly just a first step, but the depth of its footprint will be felt in the lives of millions. 

Article By Vanessa Calva Ruiz ~ May 21, 2016

Vanessa Calva Ruiz is a member of the Mexican Foreign Service currently serving as the Liaison to the U.S. Senate at Mexico’s Embassy to the United States. 

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The Origins of Alan Turing ~ A Short Biography

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We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done. ~ Alan Turing

small-heartAlan Mathison Turing was born on 23 June 1912, the second and last child (after his brother John) of Julius Mathison and Ethel Sara Turing. The unusual name of Turing placed him in a distinctive family tree of English gentry, far from rich but determinedly upper-middle-class in the peculiar sense of the English class system.

alanAlan Mathison Turing OBE FRS was a pioneering English computer scientist, mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and theoretical biologist. His boyhood scientific interests were a trial to his mother whose perpetual terror was that he would not be acceptable to the English Public School. At twelve he expressed his conscious fascination with using ‘the thing that is commonest in nature and with the least waste of energy,’ presentiment of a life seeking freshly minted answers to fundamental questions. Despite this, he was successfully entered for Sherborne School. The headmaster soon reported: “If he is to be solely a Scientific Specialist, he is wasting his time at a Public School.” The assessment of his establishment was almost correct.

His work introduced a concept of immense practical significance: the idea of the Universal Turing Machine. The concept of ‘the Turing machine‘ is like that of ‘the formula‘ or ‘the equation‘; there is an infinity of possible Turing machines, each corresponding to a different ‘definite method’ or algorithm.

small-heartIt is hard now not to think of a Turing machine as a computer program, and the mechanical task of interpreting and obeying the program as what the computer itself does. Thus, the Universal Turing Machine embodies the essential principle of the computer: a single machine which can be turned to any well-defined task by being supplied with the appropriate program. ideas provided the principle, the practical means, and the motivation for the modern computer, a single machine capable of handling any programmed task.

The Alan Turing’s Crisis

Alan Turing was arrested and came to trial on 31 March 1952, after the police learned of his sexual relationship with a young Manchester man. He made no serious denial or defence, Policeinstead telling everyone that he saw no wrong with his actions. He was particularly concerned to be open about his sexuality even in the hard and unsympathetic atmosphere of Manchester engineering.

small-heartRather than go to prison he accepted, for the period of a year, injections of oestrogen intended to neutralise his libido.

His work on the morphogenetic theory continued. He developed his theory of pattern formation out of instability into the realm of spherical objects, such as the Radiolaria, and also on the cylinder, as a model of plant stems. He set as a particular goal the explanation for the appearance of the Fibonacci numbers in the leaf patterns of plants — most noticeable in the close-packed spirals of sunflower heads and fir cones.

Besides this he refreshed his youthful interest in quantum physics, studying the problem of wave-function reduction in quantum mechanics, with a hint that he was considering a non-linear mechanism for it.

small-heartHe took a new interest in the representation of elementary particles by spinors, and in relativity theory.

A factor in his life unknown to most around him was that he had also continued to work for GCHQ, the post-war successor to Bletchley Park, on the basis of a personal connection with Alexander, now its director. But since 1948, the conditions of the Cold War, and the alliance with the United States, meant that known homosexuals had become ineligible for security skateboarding-smiley-emoticonclearance. Turing, now therefore excluded, spoke bitterly of this to his one time wartime colleague, now MI6 engineer Donald Bayley, but to no other personal friends. State security also seems the likely cause of what he described as another intense crisis in March 1953, involving police searching for a visiting Norwegian who had come to see him. Concern over the foreign contacts of one acquainted with state secrets was understandable, and his holiday in Greece in 1953 could not have been calculated to calm the nerves of security officers.

Although unable to tell his friends about questions of official secrecy, in other ways he actively sought much greater intimacy of expression with them and with a Jungian therapist. e861fb7b5d22fc4a6f97d642b05b8b72Eccentric, solitary, gloomy, vivacious, resigned, angry, eager, dissatisfied — these had always been his ever-varying characteristics, and despite the strength that he showed the world in coping with outrageous fortune, no-one could safely have predicted his future course.

small-heartHe was found by his cleaner when she came in on 8 June 1954. He had died the day before of cyanide poisoning, a half-eaten apple beside his bed. His mother believed he had accidentally ingested cyanide from his fingers after an amateur chemistry experiment, but it is more credible that he had successfully contrived his death to allow her alone to believe this. The coroner’s verdict was suicide.

The Imitation Game – Official Trailer

Article — A short biography by Andrew Hodges


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It’s up to society now to put a stop to LGBTI bullying

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“Love does not discriminate, Neither should our laws” ~ Sir Ivan

Report is insightful but it sounds an alarm

socerAs a gay person, the feel-good halo effect of the positive outcome in the marriage referendum is wonderful and empowering. The knowledge that most of the electorate was on the side of LGBT equality became simultaneously a weight off our shoulders, and a comfort blanket.irish LGBT people speak of increased visibility around the country, of seeing more gay couples holding hands, of benefiting from the open conversations that were had at kitchen tables, of feeling bolstered by the solidarity straight people offered to their LGBT family members, friends, co-workers, team-mates, and people they didn’t even know.

be-happyThe march of social change can very often be staccato, two steps forward and one step back. This week, with the release of the LGBTIreland Report, a national study of the mental health and wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in Ireland, the halo effect was dimmed with the findings of how LGBTI youth suffer in our country. LGBTI young people have twice the level of self-harm, three times the level of attempted suicide, and four times the level of severe or extremely severe stress, anxiety and depression of a comparative group of young people.

There have been other reports over the years on the mental health of LGBT adults and young people, and they all make for tough reading, but in the context of such a huge step towards a more tolerant and accepting society, this one felt even more urgent.

We need reminding that opening the institution of marriage to same sex couples is just one aspect of creating a better society for LGBT people, that we’re still in the process of undoing centuries of discrimination.

What’s also important to remember is that LGBTI young people are not a homogeneous group. The experiences of young people across a spectrum of gender and sexuality can be very different. The services offered by one of the commissioners of the report, BeLonGTo, cover an equally complex group of people. Whereas many youth services can often be drawing from a fairly homogeneous demographic, be that geographical or socio-economic, an organisation such as BeLonGTo deals with a vast array of backgrounds, experiences, and a complex intersectionality that colours the lives of LGBTI young people.

bewellThe report found that 20 per cent of LGBTI students felt they belonged completely in their school. Half of LGBTI students personally experienced anti-LGBTI bullying. Some 67 per cent witnessed bullying of other LGBTI students in their school, something that reinforces an atmosphere of discrimination even if it isn’t directly experienced by a young person. One in four missed or skipped school to avoid negative treatment due to being LGBTI. One in four considered leaving school early, and approximately one in 20 quit school. The report also showed that there has not been a significant reduction in day-to-day victimisation and harassment of LGBTI people since the Supporting LGBT Lives study in 2009.

Three quarters of those surveyed have been verbally abused due to being LGBTI, 30% in the last year.

While the outcome of the marriage referendum was a good one, the homophobia and anti-gay equality sentiment that LGBT people had to deal with during this period – across media, social media, referendum literature, and on the doorsteps while canvassing – was extraordinarily testing.

We owe a great debt to LGBT people for having the collective resilience to pull through that period, but as much as the positive reinforcement LGBT people received during 2015 will live on, so will the negative impacts.

It is incredibly difficult for young people to have peers or family members collaborate in homophobia that is still part of slang, a default code of bullying, or a general intolerant social atmosphere.

boy-hatThe Department of Education’s anti-bullying procedures for primary and post-primary schools stated in 2013: “The inclusion of LGBT posters on notice boards, discussions with parents about specific statements of welcome and respect for LGBT members of the school, community, teaching the Social, Personal, Health Education (SPHE) resource, Growing Up LGBT and participating in LGBT awareness events are just some of the ways in which a school can address homophobic and transphobic bullying.”

Schools need to be strict on bullying across the board, as well as teaching resilience to young people, arming them with the tools they need and will need to combat discrimination now and later in life.

Groups that specifically work with LGBTI young people, such as BelongTo, need to be supported and funded appropriately to continue the great work they are doing. It’s work that doesn’t just help young people, or offer sanctuary, but it’s also work that saves lives.

ok2The LGBTIreland report is informative and insightful, but it sounds an alarm as well. If parents, families, schools, peer groups and communities don’t tackle homophobic and transphobic bullying, young LGBT people will continue to suffer, they will continue to self-harm, they will continue to contemplate or act on suicide, they will continue to have difficult childhoods and experience misery and exclusion.

It is our duty as a society that aspires to care for and protect all children, to stop young people being harassed for who they are.

Article by Una Mullally  ~ posted Thu, Mar 24, 2016

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