Sally Ride's obituary notes that she was survived by her partner of 27 years, Tam O'Shaughnessy, who happens to be a woman. The two met when they were 12 and started Sally Ride Science together. Sally's sister, who is also gay, then confirmed Sally was a lesbian. According to the obituary, Sally and Tam got together around 1985, when Ride was married to husband and fellow astronaut Steven Hawley. As for why Sally never spoke out about her sexual orientation, her sister said, "That wasn't her battle of choice — the battle of choice was science education for kids. And I just hope that all the different components of Sally's life go toward helping kids."