Sally Ride passed away yesterday. She was 61, and she left behind a longtime partner, Tam O’Shaughnessy.
Sally Ride was one of my childhood heroes, and I find that I’m more upset over her death than I expected to be (similar to how I felt when Tim Russert passed). I’m sure that my mom introduced her to me, in the form of 3-2-1 Contact, or maybe Sesame Street. I had a Challenger t-shirt that I proudly wore, both before and after its accident. I remember asking my mom if Sally Ride was on the doomed flight, and I remember being relieved that she wasn’t.
I actually didn’t know that Sally was gay until I saw this Advocate article come across my Facebook feed yesterday. And while it obviously wouldn’t have made a difference to me, I am a little bit amused that even as a kid, I was drawn to strong role-models who ended up being different just like me.
Photo above from Today’s Document:
Sally Ride, May 26, 1951 – July 23, 2012
June 18 - Sally Ride “America’s first woman astronaut communicates with ground controllers from the flight deck during the six day mission of the Challenger. 06/18/1983 - 06/24/1983.”