Not since churches fought over the relics of saints has there been such contention over a dead person: Astronaut Sally Ride passed away and her obituary listed a woman as her "significant other."
On the one hand, shock and sniggering have erupted; on the other, gay activists are rushing in to both claim her (in the usual groupthink silliness -- see there, one left-handed Irishwoman can too do that kind of thing, so that means any of 'em could!) and condemn her for not having been out, loud and proud. --'Cos you know, NASA astronauts, they just go out of their way to be confrontational, right?
Clearly, she didn't think her private life was any of the public's business while she was alive -- and the kind of personality that gets through spaceflight training doesn't run to controversial outspokenness.
Remember her as an astronaut and educator; think what you want about her home life but bear in mind that she handled it with discretion and grace. Would that society's self-appointed pundits could do the same!
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4 weeks ago