The world was shocked to hear of the death of Sally Ride, the 1st woman astronaut. Now, we have some news that Sally was a lesbian.
The announcement puts the start of their relationship at around 1985 -- while Ride was still married to fellow astronaut Steven Hawley. Sally Ride Science spokeswoman Terry McEntee confirmed the announcement -- when asked if Ride was gay, she said, "Yes. That's true. What's on the website is true."I understand she had her reasons. I'm glad to know she was happy in her life.
Ride's sister, Bear, who is also gay, told New Times Monday night that her sister never publicly revealed her sexual orientation because of a closely held commitment to her personal privacy.
"Sally was a profoundly private person. It was just part of who she was. We chalk that up to being Norwegian," Bear said. "She had a sense of 'this is family stuff.'"
But Bear said Sally didn't make any efforts to hide the relationship: "They went places together, they're in business together, they wrote books together," she said. "We consider Tam a member of the family."
But that desire for privacy, Bear said, is what kept Sally from taking a stand on gay rights.
"We all have our dreams and wishes, and that might be yours or mine, but she's just like, you probably dont know what her politics are either. It's a family matter," Bear said. "That wasn't her battle of choice -- the battle of choice was science education for kids. And I just hope that all the different components of sally's life go towards helping kids."