First US lesbian in space dies of cancer

Sally Ride is survived by her lesbian partner  of 27 years

First US lesbian in space dies of cancer
24 July 2012

Sally Ride, who made history in 1983 when she became the first American woman to enter space, died Monday (23 July) of pancreatic cancer.

Ride was 61 and had been battling the cancer for 17 months.

She had flown into orbit aboard the space shuttle Challenger then took a second trip aboard the same shuttle one year later.

‘Sally lived her life to the fullest, with boundless energy, curiosity, intelligence, passion, commitment and love. Her integrity was absolute; her spirit was immeasurable; her approach to life was fearless,’ read a statement on the website of Sally Ride Science, a company she started to help teach students — particularly young women and girls — about science, math and technology.

Ride is survived by her partner of 27 years, Dr. Tam E. O’Shaughnessy. 

The two women had first met when both were aspiring tennis players. O’Shaugnessy became a science teacher and writer who co-authored several books with Ride. She was also chief operating officer and executive vice president of Ride’s company, Sally Ride Science.

Ride had been married to fellow NASA astronaut Steve Hawley during the high-profile years of her space flights.

President Barack Obama released a statement after learning of Ride’s death: ‘As the first American woman to travel into space, Sally was a national hero and a powerful role model. She inspired generations of young girls to reach for the stars and later fought tirelessly to help them get there by advocating for a greater focus on science and math in our schools. Sally’s life showed us that there are no limits to what we can achieve and I have no doubt that her legacy will endure for years to come.’

After leaving NASA, Ride joined the faculty at the University of California, San Diego, where she was a professor of physics and director of the California Space Institute.



No thumbnail available

Openly gay US Division I college basketball player Derrick Gordon scores 17 points in first game

University of Massachusetts basketballer Derrick Gordon became the first openly gay player in the US National Collegiate Athletic Association Division 1 in April and he scored 17 points for his team in his first game on Friday night
No thumbnail available

Uganda threatens to cut ties with Church of England over gay rights

Stanley Ntagali, the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, has accused the Anglican Church of being 'spiritually blind' on the issue of homosexuality
No thumbnail available

Mass Effect 3 game to allow gay romance

New video game shows lead character in bed with another male
No thumbnail available

Five ultra-Orthodox Jews arrested over vigilante attack on New York gay man

Police have arrested five members of a group of Haredi ultra-Orthodox Jews who beat up 22-year-old gay black New Yorker Taj Paterson during a vigilante patrol of their neighborhood
No thumbnail available

Ben Cohen and Graeme Le Saux speak out to fight gay hate in sport

Soccer’s Graeme Le Saux, rugby’s Ben Cohen and basketball’s John Amaechi call for more action to fight homophobia in sports
No thumbnail available

Gays sing Kylie as equal marriage passes in England and Wales

House of Lords? Your Disco Needs You, says the gay marriage supporters celebrating outside the Houses of Parliament
No thumbnail available

Dear straight people, this is how you should act in gay bars

Gay man writes an incredible open letter
No thumbnail available

Moscow Pride banned for the 10th year in a row

Organizers insist on holding 'some kind of action' on 30 May, despite Moscow police dispersing any attempts at public meetings
No thumbnail available

Zambian judge rules activist will face court for TV gay rights plea

A High Court Judge in Zambia rules speaking out on gay and lesbian rights is not protected by Constitution
No thumbnail available

Flying into the New Year: Australia to London

A cheap flight. A low-key celebration. A new year begins