🏳️‍🌈 Gayskool: Transformational Technology

If it weren’t for Lynn Conway, the Daily Dave wouldn’t be online. It would be handwritten. Or mimeographed. Or carved on a stone tablet.

Conway, a trans woman, changed the way computers ran programs, and later revolutionized the way we create and produce microchips. It’s not hyperbole to say that without Conway, the most technologically advanced thing in your house would be a three-way light bulb.

IBM fired Conway in 1968 when she announced her plans to transition. She didn’t disclose her trans status till 1999.

“From the 1970s to 1999 I was recognized as breaking the gender barrier in the computer science field as a woman, but in 2000 it became the transgender barrier I was breaking,” she told Forbes. She’s now as well known for her trans activism as she is for her contributions to the field of technology.

IBM has been touting itself as an LGBTQ-friendly company for many years — it added sexual orientation to its non-discrimination policy in 1984 — but only apologized to Conway in 2020.