“It’s scary to be open because you don’t realized the impact that it might have on so many aspects of your life. You worry about grants, about whether you’ll be able to continue writing children’s textbooks; we were scared that if sponsors knew the founders of Sally Ride Science were two lesbians, if that would affect our organization. I wanted to ensure Sally’s legacy reflected the integrity in which she lived her life. For her not to be open in this one way felt wrong.” – Tam O’Shaughnessy [background in photo], on the decision to out Ride in her obituary. O’Shaughnessy says Ride left it up to her. “‘You decide,’ she said and that shocked me. That girl was great about surprises.”
Today Sally Ride and Bayard Rustin, the gay black man who organized the 1963 March On Washington, will posthumously receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.