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Having Alan Turing as a role model helped me immensely with internalized homophobia.

When I was younger I honestly thought there weren't many intelligent gay man, and that it was somehow a proof that I was never going to be really good. That was until I discovered Alan Turing was gay, and actively researched about intelligent gay people.

Role models that are like you are so important. One day a friend asked why I got excited when I discovered some guy I admired was gay, and then I realized that he doesn't understand because he has lots of people like him in any area. I know it sounds kind of tribalist in a way, but when society puts you down because you are in a certain group, it's really hard to avoid thinking you are "limited" because of who you are. After seeing lots of people like me, it's less important to me to have these role models since now I know I'm no less of a person because of who I am.

Point is, I don't think most people understand the impact of having role models that are like you, and that's why they don't "get it" when people talk about it.




> When I was younger I honestly thought there weren't many intelligent gay man, and that it was somehow a proof that I was never going to be really good. That was until I discovered Alan Turing was gay, and actively researched about intelligent gay people.

Indeed. Young people believing in themselves and feeling that the field will accept them is incredibly important. It reminds me of this quote from an article [1]:

> ...any healthy child—if taught early and intensively—can be brought up to be exceptionally successful in any field.

Children should be allowed to enjoy their childhood, but I think there is some ground to be covered in exposing more demographics to computer science early.

[1] - https://daily.jstor.org/chess-grandmastery-nature-gender-gen...




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