The United States Postal Service has honored astronaut Sally Ride, the first American woman and first known LGBTQ person in space, with a commemorative stamp.
USPS unveiled the stamp on Wednesday, dedicating it to her “trailblazing” legacy. Ride died in 2012, after succumbing to pancreatic cancer.
“Sally Ride’s history-making journey has made it easier for young girls to dream of one day being an astronaut, an engineer, a physicist or a mathematician,” said USPS Chief Information Officer and Executive Vice President Kristin Seaver.“Today, girls don’t just dream. Because of trailblazers like Sally Ride, they have been empowered to do!”
The design was revealed at the University of California San Diego, where Ride served as a professor of physics. The event was attended by Ride’s family, friends and former colleagues, including her partner Tam O’Shaughnessy, who mentioned Ride’s love of stamp collecting.
“Sally started collecting stamps when she was a girl, and she continued to do so her whole life — especially stamps of the Olympics and space exploration,” O’Shaughnessy said. “Sally would be deeply honored to have her portrait on a U.S. stamp.”
Ride came out in her obituary in 2012 after she lost her two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 61 years old.
The astronaut became the first American woman and youngest American to ever go into space when she boarded the Challenger shuttle in June 1983, calling it “the most fun I’ll ever have in my life.”
Former President Barack Obama posthumously presented Ride with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013, which was accepted on behalf of her by O’Shaughnessy.
Vice President Mike Pence celebrated the unveiling of the stamp, writing on Twitter: “Today, the USPS dedicates the Sally Ride forever stamp to commemorate the first American woman to travel to space. Her courageous career as an astronaut and scientist inspired a nation.”
However, many were quick to attack Pence’s dedication due to his strong anti-LGBTQ views.
One Twitter user responded: “She was also a lesbian in a relationship for nearly three decades — a relationship that you opposed granting legal recognition to for years as an elected official and that your administration continues to demean through litigation.”
She was also a lesbian in a relationship for nearly three decades— a relationship that you opposed granting legal recognition to for years as an elected official and that your Administration continues to demean through litigation. https://t.co/1IRDfFrPb8
— Anthony Michael Kreis (@AnthonyMKreis) May 24, 2018