Should Sally Ride have revealed that she was gay?

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Should Sally Ride have revealed that she was gay?
44
Thu, 07-26-2012 - 4:34pm

I was sad to learn that Sally Ride had passed away this week, she was such a role model to my generation to know that women really can a "man's job".  I really didn't react to the news that she was lesbian, until I read this opinion piece from CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/26/opinion/darrah-sally-ride-lesbian/index.html?hpt=op_t1

The piece talks about how some opinions are that she let down the LGBT community by not coming out that she was gay, which the author disagreed with.  She talks about how it was a different world 30 years ago, and it didn't surprise her that she wasn't public about that side of her life.  It makes me wonder if she would have been the first woman in space if it was known that she was gay.  She might not have had the same legacy if she was open about her sexuality.  

Do you think that women today are still hesitant to come out as gay in today's workforce?  Do you think that's it's more acceptable in some industries versus others?  

 

Pages

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-2009
Re: Should Sally Ride have revealed that she was gay?
Fri, 07-27-2012 - 6:58pm
Really? I knew John Glenn was married to his childhood sweetheart, Annie Glenn. I read and watched "The Right Stuff" and Annie and John were a major plot line.

Armstrong is a much more private man, but its easy to find out that he was married twice and he had 3 children.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-2009
Re: Should Sally Ride have revealed that she was gay?
Fri, 07-27-2012 - 7:19pm

How does that work? My friends and acquaintances know I'm married with children. I assume that people are pretty clear there was some "sleeping with" my partner going on. I assume that my lesbian and gays friends with partners have an intimate relationship with their partners. It is not "prying" or "judging" to acknowledge and respect that relationship.

Sally Ride did not hide her relationship with her partner; but she did not share it as part of her public persona. Her choice, but it would not be wrong if she had decided to come publicly earlier either. I think an obituary should not just acknowledge the deceased, but the grieving and her partner was chief among the grieving.

Avatar for savcal2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2010
I wouldn't say that I think she SHOULD have. It's her decision. and hers alone.

That said, I'm always saddened that anyone - be they gay, Christian, buddhist, bisexual, have a foot fetish, love LIfetime Movies, eat mayo from the jar or whathaveyou - has to hide their true selves. I think there is a difference between being a private person or choosing not to release every detail of one's life and hiding one's true self. And I think that Sally was probably doing a bit of both.

I also think that revealing her sexual orientation then would have been much more detrimental than if a young astronaut did it today.

It is definitely more accepted in some industries than others.

And, finally, while I don't think anyone needs to talk about their "sex life" in public ... sexual orientation is about much much more than one's sex life. Who a person loves is integrated into EVERY aspect of a person's life. I talk about my husband in 1000s of ways that have NOTHING to do with our sex life. A gay person should feel free to do the same. A lesbian should be able to say "My wife and I went to see Dark Night Rises last night and it was fantastic." A gay man should be able to say "OMG, you should see the present my husband gave me for our anniversary. I sure do love that man."

And, FTR, I will not be spending any more money at Chick Fil A

"I don’t mind a banshee, that’s fine. 2 banshees? I HATE you. I actually wish bad things upon you." -- Day[9] Daily #459 P1

Avatar for savcal2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2010
Re: Should Sally Ride have revealed that she was gay?
Fri, 07-27-2012 - 7:39pm
Problem is, one's sexual orientation is about much more than who one sleeps with. It's about who one loves, who one spends the majority of their time with, who one parents with, who one laughs with ...

Do you think it's okay for you to say "My husband and I had the best dinner at Spago last night. He arranged for us to have a private corner table. It was so romantic. Perfect for our 10th anniversary." ????

If that's okay for YOU, then it should be okay for a gay man to say too. In both cases, we know who the person is sleeping with.

"I don’t mind a banshee, that’s fine. 2 banshees? I HATE you. I actually wish bad things upon you." -- Day[9] Daily #459 P1

Avatar for savcal2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2010
Totally agree.

"I don’t mind a banshee, that’s fine. 2 banshees? I HATE you. I actually wish bad things upon you." -- Day[9] Daily #459 P1

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-1999
Re: Should Sally Ride have revealed that she was gay?
Sat, 07-28-2012 - 8:00am
It's not just about who you sleep with, it's about who your partner in life is. I have two friends who are a lesbian couple,I think. They've actually never told me that, but they live together and act as a couple in most ways, so I assume they are. However, I have never heard them refer to each other as anything but their names.

So I started thinking about this. When I refer to DH in conversation, I call him by his name or I'll say my husband. I introduce him as my husband. I'm always using the phrase "my husband" in conversation. I started thinking about what it would be like if, every time I referenced my husband in conversation, I had to stop and think about the audience and think about if it would be appropriate to call him my husband or my partner or my roommate or my friend. That would be exhausting.

These women are of Sally Ride's generation. I do know younger Lesbian couples who refer to each other as wives. That must be difficult in it's own way as well.

It really isn't about sex. If that's all your marriage is about, then I feel sorry for you general you). It's about these people being able to live fully with their life partners and share their happiness and commitment to one another with those around them without constantly having to monitor every situation.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-1999
Re: Should Sally Ride have revealed that she was gay?
Sat, 07-28-2012 - 8:10am

When John Glenn and Neil Armstrong were invited to some Gala dinner to honor their bravery and service, I'm 99.9% certain their spouses were invited and expected to attend. I cannot say the same for Sally Ride. Was she allowed to invite "a guest"? Did she bring her partner or did she bring her mother or brother or sister so that no suspicion was raised about who that woman was?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Sat, 07-28-2012 - 12:20pm
My son is very much into the space community, and we have met Sally Ride and John Glenn. ride, for whatever reason, kind of dropped out of the NASA community after she retired from NASA. That is not unusual for retired shuttle astronauts, although in Ride's case, she could have capitalized a bit on the "first lady in space" standing and made some $$$ at autograph shows, etc. For reasons of her own, rather than being involved in things like the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, she chose to start her own foundation and focus almost solely on the education of girls. Her ex-husband is pretty active on the retired astronaut circuit, that might have been awkward for her, I do not know. Anyway, if you went to one of the few events Ride appeared at (mostly book tours and things as a public persona), her partner was there. It bet occurred to me that they were life partners, O'Shaunessy just acted like an employee of the foundation. But I think that those who knew Ride well must have known. The early astronauts (Glenn is an exception) tend to be pretty politically and socially conservative but also tend to be well-mannered personally. It would not surprise me if Ride heard one too many homophobic jokes or off-hand comments among the "boys" and just got sick and tired of it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-04-2009

I'm glad she never came out; there's not a shred of doubt in my mind that she would have been found "unfit" to be part of the space program if she had and she had so much to give.

I'm sorry that our society is so unforgiving and narrow minded that she could never have come out.

My sympathies to her family and her partner of 27 years.

************

Kitty

"If you can't annoy somebody with what you write, I think there's little point in writing."-- Kingsley Amis, British novelist, 1971 t .

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-04-2009
Re: Should Sally Ride have revealed that she was gay?
Sun, 07-29-2012 - 7:03am
cupcakebabe wrote:
ashmama wrote:

I think this world would be a much better place if more people, gay or straight or bi, would just keep their mouths shut about who they sleep with. And we should all have the grace not to pry or judge.

I think that it shouldn't matter who anyone sleeps with, whether they are saying so or not. Even if someone isn't saying who they are sleeping with, it's pretty evident who they are with, in general, if they are seen together. 


And if I'm understanding correctly, your stance is basically that no one on the planet should show any kind of public display of affection because it may offend someone else, who shouldn't care either way, because it has nothing to do with them?

 

I don't think that's what she's saying.  But I could do with a bit less of The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and the Kardashians. 

************

Kitty

"If you can't annoy somebody with what you write, I think there's little point in writing."-- Kingsley Amis, British novelist, 1971 t .

Pages