Jul 24, 2012 4:26 PM GMT
BuzzFeedSally Ride, who died today after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer, was the first female U.S. astronaut in space and became friends with Tam O'Shaugnessy at the age of 12. It was not until today, however — nearly 50 years after meeting — that their 27-year romantic relationship was made public.
The pioneering scientist was, a statement from Sally Ride Science announced, survived by "Tam O'Shaughnessy, her partner of 27 years."
With that simple statement — listed alongside her mother, Joyce; her sister, Bear; her niece, Caitlin and nephew, Whitney — Ride came out.
Bear Ride, talking with BuzzFeed, said today, "We consider Tam a member of the family."
Even after 27-years together, the federal government will deny the Tam survivor benefits that a opposite-sex partner of a deceased astronaut will receive.
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