Sally Ride died yesterday from pancreatic cancer (NASA obituary). She was only 61 years. When I was a little girl, Sally Ride was definitely a hero of mine. I had pictures of her on the space shuttle tacked up on the wall of my bedroom. I read her biographies, over and over. She was an inspiration to me, and probably a million other girls over the years. She will be missed.
I did not realize, before yesterday, that Dr. Ride was also a lesbian. She had been with her partner, Dr. Tam E. O'Shaughnessy, for 27 years. As Dr. Ride's sister, Bear Ride* said,
"I hope it makes it easier for kids growing up gay that they know that another one of their heroes was like them."
Rest in peace, Dr. Ride. And thank you.
*who has the best name ever, and also identifies as gay.