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The Gay Space Agency
Sally Ride’s Home Desk

Sally Ride's imagined desk at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas circa 1986, the year she officially began dating her female partner of 27 years, Tam O’Shaughnessy. Sally and Tam were together until Sally’s passing in 2012. However, Sally’s sexuality was not made public until she came out in her obituary. The desk features a number of items that allude to both her public persona and her hidden identity. 

(Top right) A photo of Sally with her then-husband, fellow astronaut Steve Hawley. Sally and Steve met at NASA. They were married in 1982 and officially divorced in 1987. 

(Top right, inset) A snapshot of Sally at Stanford University with her then-girlfriend, Molly Tyson (left). Sally and Molly were together for five years and remained lifelong friends. 

(Top left) An image of Sally with Ronald Reagan, who she ideologically disagreed with but met as part of her astronaut duties. 

(Center) A Macintosh Plus computer, similar to the one that Sally and Tam had at their home. NASA historically uses IBM computers. 

(Center) A John F. Kennedy pin to represent his catalytic role in the space program. 

(Center) A Mondale Ferraro pin to emphasize Sally's support of their ticket and her unwavering support for women. Sally and Tam founded Sally Ride Science to promote female science education. One of the reasons they decided not to come out was because of concerns that sponsors would pull their funding.

(Top left) A Naval Academy paper weight representing Wendy Lawrence, the second of three known astronauts to come out after going into space. Wendy came out when she received the highest award from the Naval Academy in 2018. 

(Bottom middle) A sticker for a fictional Naval ship named the USS Pride. I think it’s important to show fictional inclusivity as a vision of what could be in the future, especially as it relates to inclusivity for the LGBTQ+ community in the military.