Sally Ride, who died today after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer, was the first female U.S. astronaut in space and became friends with Tam O’Shaugnessy at the age of 12. It was not until today, however — nearly 50 years after meeting — that their 27-year romantic relationship was made public.
The pioneering scientist was, a statement from Sally Ride Science announced, survived by “Tam O’Shaughnessy, her partner of 27 years.”
“Frank Ocean’s letter is also fundamentally different from Anderson Cooper’s recent coming out. It’s worth noting that while Cooper’s coming out was relatively detail-free, a flipping of a switch—“the fact is, I’m gay,” end of story—Ocean never used those two magic words, instead giving us his feelings to empathize with.
This is not to diminish Cooper’s actions or to say how or when someone should come out, let’s be clear. But how often have we heard a career-established public figure describe loving another man? Frank Ocean’s letter is knocking down more taboos than we may realize.”
“I’ve also been reminded recently that while as a society we are moving toward greater inclusion and equality for all people, the tide of history only advances when people make themselves fully visible. There continue to be far too many incidences of bullying of young people, as well as discrimination and violence against people of all ages, based on their sexual orientation, and I believe there is value in making clear where I stand.
The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.”
Read the full message here
— Senator Stephen Saland (R), (
likely) deciding vote on NY marriage equality bill