Sally Ride led a bifurcated life too. She didn't forget part of herself, she just chose not to present it to the world. I am fascinated by her success in transforming the world while hiding part of herself.
I think Ride's bold mission to the stars also addresses the gravity of twenty-first century Earthlings, and I've teased out some lessons from her exemplary adventure. Live by these, Class of 2014, and you will fly high without ever leaving the planet.
On June 18, 1983, one nation sent its first young female scientist into space, while another government sent young women with high aspirations to the gallows.
We all can acknowledge that "Geeks" are becoming rock stars in the technology industry, and it seems as though our plugged-in, information-driven culture is starting to turn the tide. Yes ladies and gentlemen, Geek is becoming chic!
Sally Ride's most enduring legacy may well be empowering middle school teachers to expose kids to a wide range of exciting career opportunities that await them in science and engineering.
For Armstrong and Ride, who so actively inspired so many to follow their leads, death only greets the body. Their efforts live on as active and inspiring myths in the lives of those who learn of their boldness.
Neil Armstrong represented all that was the ideal in our time. I'll never forget watching those grainy images that night, as Armstrong jumped off the ladder of the lander onto the surface of the moon.
We should honor Sally's legacy by ensuring that our nation can build new generations of scientists who can help meet the many challenges before us today and tomorrow.
Does the fact that you live a good life, are kind, work hard -- or are a hero as in Sally Ride's case -- become moot because you don't come out? I hope not.
Women have become "common" in space flight - except that the total number of spacenauts who are women is still 11% of the total.
Ride didn't hide the fact of her sexual orientation from her family and friends during her lifetime, anyway, nor did she want it hidden from from the public in her death.
This week we mourn the passing of Dr. Sally Ride. It is no exaggeration to say that the word "pioneer" was invented for people like her.
I pray my twelve-year-old nephew Joel who, among his four siblings, is known as "the science guy," will be inspired by Sally Ride's life and example. She's a role model for boys, too.
I hope that this great American hero -- the woman who inspired a generation of girls to reach for the stars in math and science -- will also inspire a generation of LGBT youth to reach for the stars in their lives and relationships.
Who knows if Sally Ride thought of herself as lesbian or bisexual? Or what she felt about the debate around same-sex marriage?