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Trans Pride flag flown on the TDOV at M16 and Alan Turing on a £50 Note

One of the benchmarks of LGBT progress is our inclusion in defending our respective countries. While the British has benefited from our LGBT brethren efforts in times of greatest need, they have simultaneously accused them of being a threat to their county’s security.

This has begun to change with the Trans Pride flag being raised at the M16 on the TDOV. Even though transgender people have served openly in the military for years they did so at great personal peril due to the stigmatism of being called untrustworthy for years.

On March 31st the Trans Pride Flag flew at the M16 in conjunction with an apology and a promise of inclusion.

After decades of waiting, queer spies finally received the apology they deserved in February for a ban on openly LGBT+ intelligence officers that branded them a “national security threat”.

The ban, only lifted in 1991, was based on the bizarre idea that being LGBT+ would make spies more susceptible to blackmail.

MI6 chief Richard Moore, known as “C”, admitting that “secret does not mean unaccountable”, said in a statement:” Committed, talented, public-spirited people had their careers and lives blighted because it was argued that being LGBT+ was incompatible with being an intelligence professional.

“Because of this policy, other loyal and patriotic people had their dreams of serving their country in MI6 shattered. This was wrong, unjust and discriminatory.

“Today, I apologise on behalf of MI6 for the way our LGBT+ colleagues and fellow citizens were treated and express my regret to those whose lives were affected.” said Moore.

Every American family who fought fascism during world war two recognizes the name, Alan Turing. We know that against all odds he broke the Nazi’s secret code, something that gives us courage while dealing with insurrectionists in the USA today.

Andrew Bailey, the governor of the Bank of England, noted in prepared remarks that Turing is arguably best known for his code-breaking work, which historians credit with shortening World War II by about two years and saving millions of lives. But far beyond that, he said, Turing’s pioneering work in computing and artificial intelligence “has had an enormous impact on how we all live today.”

“Alan Turing was a gay man, whose transformational work in the fields of computer science, codebreaking, and developmental biology, was still not enough to spare him the appalling treatment to which he was subjected,” Bailey said. “By placing him on this new £50 banknote, we celebrate him for his achievements, and the values he symbolises, for which we can all be very proud.”

Instead of paper, the new note is made from polymer, which is longer-lasting and harder to counterfeit. It completes the bank’s “family” of polymer banknotes, Bailey said, joining the Winston Churchill £5, Jane Austen £10 and J.M.W. Turner £20.

Kelli Busey
Kelli, Busey is managing editor at Planet Transgender