My best friend in high school and I bonded over Sally Ride in Spanish class. One of the first things I can ever remember asking her was, “So, who is Sally Ride?” You have to remember that we didn’t have Internet back then, kiddies—well, we were just starting to, but my family sure didn’t have it yet. She was always talking about the first female astronaut and how she wanted to be one, and I was immediately attached to her as a kindred soul—and Ride as a trailblazing one.
Sally Ride died this week of pancreatic cancer at age 61, and it’s hard for me to think that someone like her—so amazing and inspiring—could be killed by something like that. She just seemed so larger than life! Something else that was pretty amazing was that in Ride’s obituary, she came out—and though it is unfortunate (a downright crime, I say) that her lifelong best friend and partner will not receive benefits from her death, I really think that her inspiration in life will continue in death from this in particular. Maybe even those younger people who might not have heard of her will hear about her and her life, and believe that they, too, can get to where it gets better—and hopefully the rest of us will make it to where it IS better, it IS equal, sometime very soon.