Tam O'Shaughnessy, Partner of Astronaut Sally Ride, On 27 Years of Love | Human Rights Campaign
Tam Elizabeth O'Shaughnessy (born January 27, ) is an American children's science writer and former professional tennis player who co-founded, with Sally Ride, the science education company Sally Ride Science. The company was relaunched as a nonprofit entity, Sally Ride Science at UC . Children Placed at Risk for Learning and Behavioral Difficulties. From Girlhood Pals To Life Partners: Tam O'Shaughnessy Reflects On Her Relationship With Astronaut Sally Ride A year after Sally Ride, America's first woman in space and my longtime partner, died of pancreatic cancer, President . The 10 Best Tights To Buy For Every Problem, From Rolls To Rips. Sally Kristen Ride (May 26, July 23, ) was an American physicist and astronaut. science books with her life partner of 27 years, Tam O'Shaughnessy. of the technical problems that led to the Challenger disaster, Ride was the only Their relationship was revealed by the company and confirmed by Ride's.
Can you tell us about your relationship with Sally Ride?
Sally and I had a lot of fun doing the things we did over our 27 years together and actually even before, because we knew each other when we were kids, so we always spent time together and it was actually a big surprise when we got together romantically.
In the papers it says that you guys met at the age of Is that an accurate depiction? We both grew up in Southern California, and we both started playing junior tennis at about the same time, when we were about 10 or And then we both kinda got good enough to start playing the tournaments. All of the great players came to Southern California from around the world, and it was just this great place for tennis.
So, you know, Sally and I met at some time and some place in Southern California, and basically stayed friends the rest of our lives. Billie Jean King was your coach as a junior player. How did that partnership come about?
And Billie Jean had not won Wimbledon yet. Anyway, my mom calls her and says, "You wanna play in my little tournament? Maybe you can play with my daughter? I'd love to help you. I met her when I was I think She's one of my best friends. It's kind of a funny thing with tennis, the tennis community back when Sally and I were growing up, it was so close-knit that many of Sally's best friends and most of my best friends kind of came out of tennis.
Do you still play? You know, I really don't. I kind of go out and hit about once a decade for about 10 minutes.
And I found it so comforting, it was really interesting. So I'm actually thinking of joining a tennis club and just hitting. Because it's really a big part of me, and I hadn't realized how much I missed it until Sally died. Sally was the first American female astronaut in space, but she was such a private person.
It seems like she didn't really let that accomplishment go to her head.
This Pride, Be Inspired by Sally Ride's Legacy
You mean kind of being absorbed by her celebrity? She was able to keep herself a human being, a normal person that everyone could relate to; she was very quiet. How did that work? But at the same time what Sally loved was a very normal life. She liked doing all that stuff herself. So I think it was just her nature. And one of them was it sort of made us immune to celebrity. Because as kids we were around famous people, like Rod Laver … I don't know if you know these tennis players, but the best tennis players in the world.
What was one of the major life lessons you can recall from that time frame? And then as soon as you lose, they don't really … you're dropped. It taught us, and it taught Sally, to not take celebrity too strongly. It comes and goes, so make sure that what you care about, what you believe in, and who you are, are solid things. That's a really great lesson. And it makes sense. Now I understand that when you went to the White House to accept Sally Ride's posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom recently, you were there along with Sally's family.
Were they always accepting of your relationship? Sally never verbally, openly told her mother, her father, or her sister, Bear, that she was gay and that we were a couple.
So over the almost three decades, I was really part of the Ride family. And her mother is very progressive.
This Pride, Be Inspired by Sally Ride's Legacy
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. Her mother actually turned 90 the day before the Medal of Freedom ceremony, so we had a big party at the Willard Hotel that we were all staying in.
We had a really good time and, actually, Joyce Ride had made friends with Gloria Steinem at Sally's first launch in and Gloria came to the birthday party. And we had fun. Well, that's what it's all about. At the end of the day it's all about family. How about your family, then? Were they accepting of your relationship with Sally? Did they know about it? And the circuit was very close-knit and, of course, some of the women were gay, many others were not. And so I immediately, next time I was home, took my mother out for Mexican dinner and told her I was gay.
I don't think she really liked it, but she never said anything bad or … we basically never talked about it again. I told them and they were … they wanted to try to understand, and they quickly did, and it was kind of no big deal. When I told my family it was the mids, but they had already lived through the '60s, so I think that helped.
Let's talk about Sally Ride Science. What was the starting point of the foundation? It actually kind of evolved.Sally Ride 64° Compleanno e Google le dedica cinque doodle animati - mephistolessiveur.info
And then after her first flight, of course for a while, she was the most famous person on earth and gave tons of talks. And she'd see that same … just that teachers and kids, parents, CEOs … the light would go off in their eyeballs when she'd talk about looking back at earth from space and floating weightless and floating grapes into the mouths of the other astronauts, and all these fun stories.
And Sally realized she could use space as a way to motivate and inspire teachers and kids and science. Today, Ride's legacy and life story continue to inspire, as she has set a leading example, conquering what before seemed truly impossible.
Unsurprisingly, Ride encountered a number of obstacles throughout her career, including insulting, gender-biased reporter questions like "whether I cried when we got malfunctions in the simulator," Ride said to Gloria Steinem in But while "our country was trying to do better by women's rights" by finally including women, O'Shaughnessy told Space.
O'Shaughnessy spoke openly with Space. But Ride's challenges with her sexuality didn't end with her professional status. O'Shaughnessy said Ride struggled internally with accepting her own sexuality. And while O'Shaughnessy said the decision to disclose their romantic partnership in Ride's obituary was difficult for her, she said that doing so "was amazing … it was just so freeing.
He asked O'Shaughnessy to accept the medal on behalf of Ride as her life partner, which "was surreal," O'Shaughnessy said. She added that the experience and acknowledgement of their relationship was "my national coming out, and Sally's too.
Tam O'Shaughnessy - Wikipedia
The organization continues in Ride's name to inspire young people of all backgrounds. As described by O'Shaughnessy, Ride was a nurturing person both in her personal and professional life. She supported all of the women who followed in her footsteps at NASA, "involving them in decision-making and kind of mentoring them.