Efva Attling

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Efva Attling has been doing a little bit of everything since her modeling career kicked off in the 1970s. She was part of the pop band X Models (named after her former profession) and helped release the hit “Två av oss”; alas, she was rejected by that other famous Swedish pop band, ABBA. Although she dipped into disco dancing for a while, Attling eventually settled on jewelry and eyeglass design. She runs her own label, which she has described as “simplicity with a twist” and “beauty with a thought“.

Attling is openly gay and active in the production of jewelry that celebrates queer identities, including a piece produced following the anti-gay crackdowns in Russia around the 2014 Olympic Games.

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Sofia Kovalevskaya

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How much Sofia Kovalevskaya might have accomplished in the field of mathematics if she hadn’t wasted half her time fighting with universities over their male-only policies is an open question, but there’s no dispute that in her short life she made significant strides in several areas, including partial differential equations. Her ascent as an academic was fraught with workarounds like studying abroad (Russian universities forbade women from entering); private tutoring with Karl Theodor Wilhelm Weierstraß; and earning a doctorate through the submission of her papers as a substitute dissertation without taking the required exams. She also held the distinction of being the first woman to hold a full professorship and to edit a scientific journal.

It is uncertain whether Kovalevskaya was attracted to women, men, or both (she is tentatively tagged ‘lesbian’ here). She married a fellow student so that he could sign papers authorizing her to study in Germany, but the two had a tumultuous relationship that ended in their permanent separation, at which point Kovalevskaya moved in with Swedish writer
Anne Charlotte Leffler; the two maintained a “romantic friendship” for the rest of Kovalevskaya’s life.

Kovalevskaya’s name is currently shared with a lunar crater and several grants.