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23rd Jun 2021

The new Alan Turing £50 note enters circulation from today

Kieran Galpin

A legend gets the respect he deserves

Paper money vs plastic money is a debate that has raged since the first introduction of the new notes back in 2016. But now, the £50 has had its own makeover finally arrive. As of today, £50 notes with the face of Alan Turing have entered circulation.

With countless awards, accolades, and buildings named after him, Alan Turing is a true British icon. He was vital in the war effort, and without him, it could have ended very differently. He was also the godfather of modern computers, and his work has truly changed the world forever. Move over, Cher; there is another gay icon who needs the spotlight.

In 1952, Turing was charged with indecency, which is used to describe homosexual acts back then. He was then chemically castrated, had his security clearance removed, and as a result, later killed himself. A rather strange way to thank someone for saving the country!

In 2013, the Queen granted the late Turing a royal pardon for those acts. But, to truly honour the incredible Brit, he is now the face of the £50 note. Other icons include The Queen, JMW Turner, Jane Austen, Adam Smith, and Winston Churchill.

This victory for Turing will undoubtedly mean a lot to queer people across the country, but it also demonstrates to the rest of the world that gay people are not just tolerated; they are celebrated.