Lynn Conway and transgender people

Lynn Ann Conway (born January 2, 1938) is an American engineer and one of the world’s most notable computer scientists. She is also a key figure in online transgender resources.

Background

Conway grew up in White Plains, New York. Conway enrolled at MIT in 1955, but dropped out. After working as an electronics technician, she enrolled at Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, earning B.S. and M.S.E.E. degrees in 1962 and 1963.

Conway began her career at IBM Research in 1964, where she helped develop new supercomputer technology. IBM fired Conway in 1968 when she came out as transgender.

After her transition, she worked at Computer Applications and Memorex before joining Xerox PARC in 1973, where she developed new integrated circuits. She co-authored Introduction to VLSI Systems with Carver Mead in 1978.

Conway left Xerox to join DARPA’s Strategic Computing Initiative. Conway joined the University of Michigan in 1985 as professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and associate dean of engineering. She was appointed Professor Emerita in 1998.

Conway bought the domain lynnconway.com in 2000 and began building a large personal website that included information about her gender transition. Her Transsexual Women’s Successes pages were an important early source of inspiration, later inspiring a similar page for notable trans men.

Conway has been in a relationship with Charlie Rogers since 1987, marrying in 2002.

Conway was a key figure in the transgender community response to the 2003 publication of the anti-transgender book The Man Who Would Be Queen by J. Michael Bailey.

References

Lynn Conway (lynnconway.com)