Margaret Charmoli

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Margaret Charmoli, a practicing psychologist, has also been a host of the monthly cable television show BiCities since its inception in 2002. BiCities is a play on “Twin Cities,” the nickname of its hosting location, the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area of Minnesota, and it features interviews with members of the bisexual community. Charmoli herself has been the subject of at least one interview in which she shares her expertise on the American Psychological Association and its evolving views on queer identity. As of the time of this posting she is also the Bisexual Representative with the board of directors at Reconciling Works, an organization dedicated to bettering the inclusion of the queer community within the Lutheran Church, and was part of the push for legalized same-sex marriage in Minnesota through her membership with the Minnesota Psychological Association.

 

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Ludwig Wittgenstein

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The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein lead a tumultuous life of both creative and temperamental outbursts. He was a student of some of the most famous names in his field, Bertrand Russell included, but always left their company feeling disillusioned. His own linguistic take on philosophical questions was groundbreaking and earned him recognition as one of the 20th century’s most important philosophers. Outside of academia he was decorated for his bravery during the first World War, and briefly taught at a school for young children where he gained a reputation for his corporal punishments and obsession with mathematics. He also studied mechanical engineering.

Despite being described as a gay philosopher, Wittgenstein had several female lovers interspersed with his male ones, including one he proposed to, indicating that he may be more accurately described as bisexual. He avoided sex itself, claiming that it got in the way of love; for that reason he is also (tentatively) tagged here as asexual.

While it should not be taken as biographical fact, Wittgenstein has received the high honor of a dedicated Uncyclopedia page.

Alan Turing

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British mathematician Alan Turing is credited with both laying the foundations for modern computer science with his hypothetical Turing machines and with cracking the German Enigma code during World War II (which was not, as the phrase implies, a one-time event, but an ongoing war on several fronts). His Turing test to determine the intelligence of a machine was a foundation for the philosophy of artificial intelligence. Due to a combination of gag orders surrounding intelligence collection and Turing’s conviction for “gross indecency”, he was not widely credited for his achievements until decades after his death.

Turing was issued an apology from the then-Prime Minister of the British government in 2009 and a royal pardon in 2014. The Turing Archive for the History of Computing, an online database for original documents from the history of computers, is named in his honor; on a more artistic front, pop group The Pet Shop Boys premiered an original operatic biography of Turing at the BBC Proms.

Martine Rothblatt

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Businesswoman, attorney, and author Martine Rothblatt is sometimes introduced in headlines as “the highest-paid female CEO in America“. While a breakdown of her earnings is publicly available for the interested, her technology startup accomplishments make for more compelling stories. She began her career working on satellites for NASA, which she turned into a successful business venture creating and selling satellite radios, including the well-known Sirius system. When her daughter was diagnosed with pulmonary arterial hypertension she founded a pharmaceutical company to produce a treatment; she has since begun to venture into xenotransplantation.

Rothblatt is a dedicated transhumanist. She founded the Terasem Movement Foundation and commissioned a robot doppelgänger of her wife. The archives of her blog go into more depth on her technological philosophy.

Magnus Hirschfeld

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German sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld was lucky enough to begin his work shortly before the Weimar Republic years, but unlucky enough to see much of it destroyed in a Nazi conflagration. His motto, “Per Scientiam ad Justitiam” (“through science to justice”), drove him to approach queer activism from a researcher’s perspective, with the hope that education – including a film he co-wrote and acted in – would help end homophobia. He postulated that there were numerous varieties of sexual intermediacy, categorized by what would now be called sexual orientation, gender expression, and gender identity; for a time, he classified homosexuals as a “third sex”. Hirschfeld himself was a private person, but later biographies suggest he was gay or bisexual, and certainly had at least two male lovers.

Hirschfeld was a pop culture figure in life who inspired everything from caricatures, to Ireland’s first LGBT center, to a decades-long hunt for his personal belongings. Germany issued funding in the early 2000s to establish the Bundesstiftung Magnus Hirschfeld (Magnus Hirschfeld National Foundation)

 

Sally Ride

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Astronaut Sally Ride sailed away on the shuttle Challenger when she was only 32, making her both the first American woman and the youngest person in space up to the time of this posting. A physicist with a Ph.D. from Stanford University, she was accepted into NASA as part of a new wave of scientists recruited to run experiments (and create Challenger‘s robot arm). After she had participated in two flights, her shuttle broke apart after liftoff, and she spent the remainder of her time with NASA on the ground in administrative roles.

Following her career as an astronaut, Ride was hired as a physics professor by the University of California, San Diego, and as director of the California Space Institute. For the remainder of her life she pursued projects designed to pique children’s interest in space, with a focus on girls. When she passed away, at her request, her obituary named her female parter; it marked the first time she had come out to the general public.

Caitlín R. Kiernan

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Atheist transsexual lesbian genre writer Caitlín R. Kiernan started off as a directionless geology student. After graduating she went into paleontology and helped with the discovery of a new type of mosasaur by pinning down its location based on the nanoplankton remnants found in its skeleton. When she grew tired of dusting off dinosaur bones, Kiernan quit and started writing genre fiction full-time. Her novels, comic books, and short stories, which have an impressive list of awards to their name, include: Silk, her first novel, which features copious numbers of spidersThe Drowning Girl, a semi-autobiographical magical realist fictional memoir; and contributions to The Dreaming, a spinoff of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics. She is also a musician who has played in several grunge bands.

Kiernan’s website is available here; here Livejournal can be found here.