2. Ride’s obituary simply stated that she was “survived by Tam O’Shaughnessy, her partner of 27 years.”
President Obama presented O’Shaughnessy with the Presidential Medal of Freedom this November. O’Shaughnessy was one of the first people to accept the award on behalf of a deceased same-sex partner.
7. She wanted to lead a normal life, not one of a celebrity:
She just thrived on having a home life where she could get away from work, get away from any of the demands of celebrity, and just be a normal person—play catch in the back yard, go for walks, go to the grocery store. She liked doing all that stuff herself. So I think it was just her nature.
10. Balancing both a professional and personal relationship proved difficult at times.
11. According to O’Shaughnessy, Ride never verbally told her family that she was gay – or even that they were a couple.
“Sally easily could have told her a long time ago, and Joyce Ride would not have cared, she would not have blinked. But it just shows how strong Sally’s sense of privacy was, and also I think fear.”
12. That isn’t to say their relationship was a secret. They went everywhere, and did everything, together.
So over the almost three decades, I was really part of the Ride family. And her parents are really smart—especially her mother and her sister—they knew a long time ago that we were a couple. And her mother is very progressive.