I like to think that Manchester is a very tolerant and open-minded city and its Gay Village really backs that sentiment up. In the summer I spend a lot of time in Sackville Gardens on my lunch hour, and the park is home to the Alan Turing Memorial – one of the most important symbols of equality in the city.
Known as a pioneer of computer science, Alan Turing was instrumental in cracking the enigma code during World War II, with Winston Churchill describing his contributions as the single greatest to the Allied Victory.
The story of Turing’s later life isn’t a happy one however, as he was chemically castrated after being convicted of illegal homosexuality in 1952. He died in 1954 from cyanide poisoning, but it wasn’t until 2013 that Turing received a posthumous pardon from Queen Elizabeth II.
Floral tributes are left to mark Turing’s birthday each year, and I felt a real surge of pride to see the bench in full bloom once again after homosexuality was legalised in the USA.