November 6, 2015

In Memory of Telsa Gwynne

The GNOME Foundation is proud to honor Telsa Gwynne for her contributions to the GNOME community.

It is with deep regret and sadness that we announce that Telsa after living with cancer for a while she passed away this last Tuesday, November 3, 2015. Telsa was a long-time GNOME contributor who began by contributing to Welsh translations. She participated in the bug squad, managing bugs in the GNOME 2 code and documentation, and she served on the release team. She was heavily involved in GNOME, and served on the Board of Directors in 2002.

While Telsa did not consider herself to be a technical person, she was passionate about Free Software, and enjoyed promoting and using it. She brought many new members to the GNOME community with her enthusiasm and kindness. She will be remembered as an early pioneer in creating a positive GNOME community.

Telsa was one of the few women who contributed in the early days of GNOME. While we wish our community had been an inviting place for women like Telsa, it unfortunately was not. Telsa eventually left Free Software due to misogynistic and demeaning comments towards her. While the community has changed quite a bit since then, and has even fostered programs like GNOME OPW to encourage more women to participate in GNOME, we still have a long way to go in making Free Software a welcoming home for everyone.

GNOME considers Telsa as one of its own. Her contributions will be immortalized in our collective work. Farewell, Telsa. We will miss you.