…she was a heroine, especially to many girls. She openly acknowledged that the women’s movement had made her trip to space possible—that it didn’t just happen. She told reporters at the time of her flight, “It’s too bad our society isn’t further along.” Again, that was her work; she had a sense of what it meant to be a role model, to be Sally Ride. Perhaps she thought that parents would not buy the children’s science books that she co-wrote with O’Shaughnessy, who helped run Sally Ride Science and was described on its Web site as her “friend,” if they thought the authors were lesbians. The more troubling question there is not for Ride but for the rest of us: If that was her fear, was she right? Have we, as a nation, not been ready to let a lesbian inspire our daughters to fly, if they want to, to the moon, and back?
Amy Davidson on The Astronaut Bride: Sally Ride and her partner, Tam O’Shaughnessy http://nyr.kr/NJtbAW