Sally Ride’s Other Side

America's First Woman in Space 1951-2012

Sally Ride was a lesbian who lived in a 27-year, committed, monogamous  relationship with Dr. Tam O’Shaughnessy. You probably don’t have that immediate image of a gay person, right?  When you think of someone who’s gay, you imagine a painted, wild screamer with pink flamingo feathers in his hair and purple butt cheeks, dancing in the San Francisco Gay Pride parade.

But stereotypes are short cuts to ignorance.  They’re like visual clichés – no thought involved.

I have a problem with stereotyping too.  Whenever I see a nun, my blood pressure shoots into a negative abyss.  Slowly, I give her the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe she was just kidnapped as a child and forced into a convent.

I read somewhere about a guy who would HATE for his daughter to use Sally Ride for a role model.  Don’t worry about it, buddy.  First of all, you’d have little to say about it anyway.  More important, Ride was chosen from 8,000 applicants to be a NASA astronaut.  Something tells me any kid of yours wouldn’t even be allowed to load the rocket with Tang.

11 Responses to “Sally Ride’s Other Side”

  1. Bill says:

    A great many of the nuns we saw as children were lesbians. They weren’t necessarily sexually active, but they weren’t about to marry some guy and start popping babies either. Career choices were limited for women in those days and joining a convent was one way to get by. Thankfully, women have many more options now.

    You and I are not religious, and I’ll be honest and admit I think the whole concept of a personal god who intervenes in our lives is just plain silly. However, I know a great many people who are very intelligent and also very devout. I don’t understand how that happens, but I am not arrogant enough to write them all off as mental defectives. It’s possible that you and I are the nutballs. Not likely, but possible.

  2. kitchaid says:


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  3. paolo. says:

    No doubt about it – if I see Jesus as soon as I die, I’m going to say, “AWWW SHIT!”

  4. Joseph Belle-Isle says:

    I’m gonna say,”Hey there Buddy! Glad you can take a joke. Send ME back and get Jerry Seinfeld!.”

  5. Joseph Belle-Isle says:

    But I have to tell you about a THING I saw in San Francisco in 1974. I was supporting myself and another couple (man and woman normal people (Crazy) and their two little girls by playing music on the street three times a day to get money for meals. Except the kids and me the other couple were Haight Asbury LSD-25 Acid head burnouts and one day we went out as a group family thing to panhandle and raise some change.
    Down by Powell and Market st., the central hub of SF where all forms of public transportation came together and Herb Caen once said he saw a sailor go up to a cop and say, “OFICER! I think you should arrest that man! I believe he is a homosexual.” And the cop looked at his watch by the multi bus,streetcar, and subway stop and said, “DON’T WORRY! There will be another one along in a minute!”
    Anyhow Linda had a morraca and I had a guitar and this THING dressed in colorfull rags half skated up to us spinning like a whirling dervish. The rags flew up to reveal he had on 1/2 of a pair of blue leotards on one leg, and 1/2 of a pair of red leotards on the other leg and as he spun around on his ONE roller skate his long blonde hair flew out as he shook his tambourine and came to a standstill in front tof us holding the tambourine out and said, “SPARE CHANGE FOR THE DE-RANGED??”
    i GAVE HIM A QUARTER. It was certainly worth it. The acid head and I put that line into a street act of our own as I played the guitar and he wore a way oversized hooded sweatshirt with a hole in the shoulder and a one way red plastic bubble from a Budweiser sign in the face of the hood while he blew cigarrette smoke out of the hole in the sweatshirt. When people passed between us on the street we did a “Take,” and put OUR hands out and said, “SPARE CHANGE FOR THE DE-RANGED?” And in San Francisco 9 out of 10 people giggled and said “OHHHH!! I’m DE-RANGED TOO!!, and would give us a dollar. we quadrupled our monetery input. GODI’M SO GLAD I GOT OUT OF THERE.

  6. Joseph Belle-Isle says:

    tHE NEXT BEST LINE FOR THE HOMELESS IS, “Hey buddy! Lend me a quarter so I can get my rolls royce out of hock?” It’ll get a quarter out of just about everyone and give them a laugh EXCEPT Black folks. Virtually every Black person we tried that line on said, “SHEEIT MAN!! You gotta Rolls Royce you don’t need my damn quarter.”

  7. Joseph Belle-Isle says:

    So what if she was Gay she was an American Hero. IF she outed herself then that’s OK but if someone else got into her persoinal life they broke a rule of etiquette where people sex lives and what they do in PRIVATE is their own damn buisiness. BESIDES not only ZIPPY but even gay chicks like ding dongs.

  8. paolo. says:

    If people were judged solely on their sex lives, my address would include “Institution for the Criminally Insane.”

  9. Joseph Belle-Isle says:

    OK, Then what would YOU do with a Queen of England whose Hymen had become Terribly calloused and turned 1/4″ thick from riding the bannisters at Westminister Abbey when she was a kid without any panties On? Or would you just keep the bannisters?

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