Should Sally Ride have revealed that she was gay?

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Registered: 11-13-2008
Should Sally Ride have revealed that she was gay?
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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?  

 

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Registered: 01-08-2009
You are right , she did serve on the Columbia Review Board even after she retired from NASA. She was asked to come back and did for that task.
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Registered: 05-13-2009
I agree that Sally Ride was under no obligation to come out as lesbian.

How does that work about sexuality if you are GLBT? If Sally Ride had chosen to acknowledge her relationship with her partner, it appears, in the words in your previous post, that she's announcing to world who she's sleeping with, but Neil Armstrong's marriages to women don't announce who he's sleeping with?

I think society is doing a disservice to the Gay and Lesbian community. Let them validate their relationships' with the ability to marry and treat Ride, Glenn and Armstrong equally as the groundbreaking role models they were.
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Registered: 02-04-2009
bordwithyou wrote:
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.

She didn't sever NASA ties entirely; wasn't she on both of the oversight groups which investigated the shuttle tragedies?  th only person to serve on both, if I remember the obit correctly.

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

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 .

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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 .

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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 .

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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.
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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?

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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.
Avatar for savcal2011
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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

Avatar for savcal2011
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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