I will always spend the second half of the “Imitation Game” crying, it is very hard for me not to relate to someone like Alan Turing, (and no I’m not indirectly calling myself a genius) but relating to him in being often misunderstood by…well, pretty much everyone.
I don’t think Alan ever felt like he belonged, and I hope that I’m wrong. I hope he got — even if it was for just a brief moment — to feel like he was loved, that he did actually make sense to some people, but my heart achingly tells me that he didn’t.
I remember the first time I learned who Alan Turing was; it was in my computer class back in school. Our teacher showed us an exciting short film on what Alan did, and how he managed to achieve what thought to be impossible. The fact that we were able to even have a class for computers was thanks to him. I was taken by his story, my heart racing at the thought of being able to prove everyone wrong when no one believed in him, and all the lives that he was able to save breaking the “Enigma” code. By the end of the class the teacher told us that Alan was different, and because of that he was prosecuted and eventually took his own life to put an end to the humiliation of being forced to get medications that would chemically castrate him. My heart dropped to my feet (don’t they know he’s a genius? How what in the world!) , The teacher told us that Alan was gay and because of that people just looked at him as a pervert and nothing more…a group of girls in my class burst into laugher and I felt my heart getting all heavy…I was sad for days after that class, I couldn’t understand why is it that people always feel the need to shame you for being simply designed differently. It’s not even a matter of accepting something deemed as “wrong” by religion, but simply why do we need to take a strong stand on the way that people are when it really doesn’t affect us at all? It broke my heart to think of him getting the royal pardon and the apology he deserved in 2013…. to me that is what I find really shameful.
Every time I come across an article or a video of Alan Turing, all I can remember is the sarcastic laughs of my classmates and me thinking that the world is a cruel place for anyone to be born different. Maybe the real enigma is that we are a social species are desperate to achieve a real connection with one another, yet we create social norms that drives us apart and generates ideas that makes us alienate one another and treat everyone different than us as if they were posing a real threat to our survival… this is an Enigma I would have loved Alan to see unravel, but I think we will need a time machine and maybe a more forgiven species for that to happen.