Lynn Conway on Transitioning in 1968

Posted by – July 17, 2013

She wrote the piece as a result of going to the White House for the Pride Month Reception.

Shamed as a social outcast, I’d lost my family, my friends and all social support. I’d been fired by IBM, and lost a promising computer research career. In many jurisdictions, I could have been arrested and charged as a sex offender — or, worse yet, institutionalized and forced to undergo electroshock therapy in a mental hospital.

Evading those fates, I completed my transition and began building a career in a secret new identity, starting at the bottom of the ladder as a contract programmer. Even then, any ‘outing’ could have led to media exposure, and I’d have become unemployable, out on the streets for good. The resulting fear channeled my life into ‘stealth-mode.’ I covered my past for over 30 years, always looking over my shoulder, as if a foreign spy in my own country.

(It got better. )

1 Comment on Lynn Conway on Transitioning in 1968

  1. JennL says:

    Without Lynn’s engineering contributions there might not yet be an Internet platform and the revolutionary cultural changes we have been seeing these last couple of decades may not have occurred. That’s how important her work has been.

    Lynn’s web page is an amazing trans resource.

    Thank you for all of your efforts Lynn!

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