sally ride

I know the world is very depressing, so I thought you might like something to make you feel good today, so how about that Sally Ride? The female astronaut was just given the presidential medal of freedom. According to our friends at Jezebel:

To coincide with the tribute to U.S. Astronaut Sally Ride’s life that occured at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in D.C. last night, President Obama has awarded Ride — the first American woman to ever make the voyage into space — with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The honor was bestowed posthumously as Ride passed away last summer at the age of 61 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

In a statement released Monday evening, the president announced:

“We remember Sally Ride not just as a national hero, but as a role model to generations of young women. Sally inspired us to reach for the stars, and she advocated for a greater focus on the science, technology, engineering and math that would help us get there. Sally showed us that there are no limits to what we can achieve.”

Ride was the first American woman – and third woman ever – in space when she deployed from the the Challenger space shuttle in 1983. She was also a bisexual with a lesbian partner of 27 years, though the fact was not mentioned until after her death. So, as the Huffington Post reminds us:

Sally Ride, the first American woman to rocket into outer space, came out as a lesbian in her obituary, a day after her tragic death due to pancreatic cancer. She now makes history not only as the first American woman in space, aboard the space shuttle Challenger, but as the first openly gay or bisexual person (while the obituary referred to a relationship with a woman for 27 years, it’s possible, since Ride was once married to man, that she identified as bisexual or without a label) to fly in space as well.


So, yes, this is a good thing.

Picture via Getty