Hasso-Plattner-InstitutSDG am HPI
Hasso-Plattner-InstitutDSG am HPI


In IT only bits are binary

Why Pride Month is important for the tech world

Pride Month takes place around the world in June. In this month the focus is on the social acceptance of the queer community, and demonstrations are held worldwide for equal rights. We see the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) as a place where everyone should feel welcome. That's why we are also using this month to make the stories behind the rainbow flag and their relevance to the tech world more visible.

The beginning of Pride Month

Pride Month stands for equality, more tolerance, and destigmatization, because even today the LGBTQIA+ community experiences discrimination worldwide. A pivotal event occurred on  the night of June 28, 1969. On this night,   the Stonewall Riots began at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar on Christopher Street in New York City. The riots were  triggered by the increasingly violent police control of the queer community. Today, this event,  widely considered a turning point in the struggle for queer visibility and civil and human rights, sparked the international movement. In many cities, Christopher Street Day (CSD) takes place during Pride Month, having grown  out of this history. Here, too, the focus is on the message for more tolerance and acceptance. The colorful demonstration takes place in Berlin on July 22 and unites the demands of the movement under the motto "Be their voice - and ours!...for more empathy and solidarity!".

> More about CSD in Berlin

What does LGBTQIA+ actually stand for?

The short form LGBTQIA+ stands for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender, Queers, Intersex and Asexual. Often there is a plus or the so-called gender asterisk at the end to include other identities.


Why diversity is important in the tech sector

Sustainable innovations are created wherever people work on solutions from many different perspectives and think outside the box. Particularly in digitization, it is a matter of taking all people with us into the digital future and developing technologies that do not just meet the needs of one group of people. This is precisely why it is particularly relevant for the tech sector to work in diverse teams and to inspire  all people for the tech world. Various studies have now proven that interdisciplinary and diverse teams work more successfully: "Three out of four digital companies are more successful thanks to diversity," wrote Bitkom last year on the occasion of Pride Month.
> To the article


Rainbow colors: The colors of the rainbow stand as a visual symbol for diversity and tolerance. At HPI, very special graphics are hanging this month, which were created from the student body and can now be found everywhere on campus as well as here as the cover photo.


Queer Role Models in IT

The tech industry is characterized by unique and inspiring individuals who have set significant milestones for the digital world with their ideas, research, and developments. For Pride Month, we want to go beyond their work and make their stories visible:

Click images to enlarge

Alan Turing

Born in London in 1912 and died in 1954.

His innovation: He was a British logician, mathematician, cryptanalyst and computer scientist, and is now considered one of the most influential theorists of early computer development. Time magazine named Turing one of the 100 most important people of the 20th century. Most notably, Turing had a major impact on AI development.

His story: In 1950s Britain, homosexuality was a crime, so Turing went on trial in 1952 and was given a choice: Two years in prison or chemical castration. He opted for castration. This hormone treatment led to severe depression. In 1954, Turing was found dead in his home - suicide is suspected. In 2013, Alan Turing was pardoned. In 2017, a law, named after him, followed that pardoned almost all citizens convicted of homosexuality: the Turing Law.

Lynn Conway

born 1938 in Mount Vernon, NY

Her innovation: Lynn Ann Conway is an American computer scientist and inventor. She worked as a programmer at IBM in the 1960s on the Advanced Computing Systems project. The designs developed there were never completed, but the organizational techniques and architectural innovations developed as part of the project have been incorporated into almost all high-performance computers in existence today. Along with Carver Mead, she triggered the worldwide VLSI revolution, a design movement that is considered one of the earliest examples of automated Internet commerce.

Her story: In addition to her work, Conway is an activist in the trans* rights movement (a  movement in the U.S. to advance the rights of trans people). She began her first career as a man at IBM, during which time she decided to undergo a final gender transition. After disclosing her transsexuality, she was fired by IBM in1968. The corporation officially apologized to the programmer in 2020. Due to her commitment, today she is one of the 40 trans heroes who are honored at Stonewall. In addition,Time magazine declared her the most influential LGBTQ person in American culture.

Sam Altman

born 1985 in Chicago, USA

His innovation: Sam Altman is a US entrepreneur, investor and programmer. He is CEO of OpenAI and became known worldwide with the release of ChatGPT.

His story: In 2012, he came out as gay. He talks in many interviews about how, as a teenager in the conservative Midwest of the USA, he had difficulty talking openly about his sexuality and how the Internet helped him find human contact.

You can find even more inspiring personalities on HPI's social media channels during Pride Month.