Thursday, October 25, 2012

LGBT History Month: Wendy Carlos

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Born Walter Carlos on November 14, 1939 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, she learned to play the piano when she was six and was composing at ten. In 1953, when Carlos was 14, she won a scholarship for building a computer at home, long before computers were in homes. She went on to earn a BA in music and physics from Brown University and a master's from Columbia in composition.

Carlos worked with Dr. Robert Moog to help develop the Moog synthesizer, and became famous for her recording called Switched-On Bach, released in 1968, which was painstakingly assembled, piece by piece, on the Moog synthesizer. She later began releasing original compositions and created soundtracks for such films as A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, and Tron.

Carlos experienced gender dysphoria from a young age but didn't know about transgenderism until she attended Columbia in 1962. In 1967, she started hormone treatments and began living as a woman. After the success of Switched-On Bach, Carlos was able to complete a sex-change operation.


Also this month:

~ October is also National Bullying Prevention Month.

~ October 10th was Unity Day; wear orange to show your support and remind others about the importance of bullying prevention.

~ October 11th was National Coming Out Day when we celebrate coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or as an ally. See the Human Rights Campaign website for resources on coming out.

~ October 19th is Spirit Day; wear purple on this day to support LGBT youth & stand up against bullying.

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