Second Star to the Right
When I was little, I used to run outside at night and lay on my back, looking up to the stars. I loved the idea of space, of the vast blackness and stars that I could see from my backyard. In middle school, I got the chance to go to space camp. I was, if you’ll pardon the pun, over the moon. To this day, I love space, I love reading and learning about space history.
So, all of that being said, I was absolutely saddened that Sally Ride, the first American to be in space, died on Monday. Being the first woman in space, she had a lot to overcome. Many people thought that women wouldn’t be able to hold up in space for various biological reasons. She overcame all of that, however, with wit and determination. Frankly, I’ve always looked up to her. As a person who is still in many ways a woman in a man’s world, I admire everything that she did, and all of her passion for her dreams.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that Dr. Ride had a partner of 27 years. Woah. That’s awesome. At first, I was wondering why no one knew. People were (and still are, days later) loudly bemoaning the fact that she hadn’t told anyone before she died. I can see their point. Someone as prominent as Sally Ride would have a huge impact on understanding and acceptance. However, I can also understand her point. Sometimes the strongest statement is to live your life, and just let the world catch up when they do.
The biggest tragedy is that Ride’s partner won’t receive one cent of Federal pension monies because of DOMA. It’s frustrating to me that so many people are hailing her as a pioneering hero, but won’t even acknowledge the person she loved for so many years. I hope that one day, we will take care of our heroes and their families, no matter what sort of family those are.
Sally Ride, I salute you. Everything that you did made it more possible for the rest of us to follow our dreams. I thank you as well for living your life in the way that you wanted to, not the way the world, or any part of the world, wanted you to.