Why Aren’t There Any Openly Gay Astronauts?

 

Floating freely on the flight deck, Sally Ride communicates with ground controllers in Houston during her STS-7 mission in June 1983.

Credit: NASA

Three hundred and thirty American men and women have served as astronauts since the start of NASA’s human spaceflight program. Only one is publicly known to have been gay or bisexual — Sally Ride — and she kept it private until her death, yesterday (July 23), when her obituary on the Sally Ride Science organization’s website stated that Ride was survived by Tam O’Shaughnessy, her « partner of 27 years. »

As the first American woman in space and a scientist, Ride served as a role model for generations of young girls. Now, she’ll serve as a role model for LGBT youth as well, said her sister, Bear Ride. « I hope it makes it easier for kids growing up gay that they know that another one of their heroes was like them, » Bear Ride, who identifies as gay, told Buzzfeed yesterday.

Gay rights advocates say Sally Ride’s addition to the ranks of LGBT role models will make a tremendous impact. « Role models are incredibly valuable for everyone, but I think especially for LGBT youth, who may be born into a family where they don’t have an LGBT role model. It is so important for them to look out into the world and see they could be welcome in that world, » Stuart Gaffney, media director at Marriage Equality USA, told SPACE.com. « Sally Ride will be that for them now. »

 

Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin concurred, telling Buzzfeed, « The fact that Sally Ride was a lesbian will further help round out Americans’ understanding of the contributions of LGBT Americans to our country. » [Astronaut Sally Ride: In Her Own Words]

Ride’s decision to keep her sexual orientation private reflects her very private nature, sources said. But the lack of even one openly gay or lesbian astronaut in the history of American spaceflight may reflect the culture at the NASA astronaut office. Although NASA does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, Michael Cassutt, author of five books and hundreds of articles about human spaceflight, said coming out would until recently have been « a career-wrecker » for an astronaut. « Not for any formal reason, but in the same way that any medical issue or even some kind of notoriety has been an astronaut career-wrecker, » Cassutt told SPACE.com.

« Any issue that detracts from the mission is or has been the kind of thing an astronaut wants to avoid. It isn’t NASA politics; it is NASA politics as practiced at the astronaut office, » Cassutt said, adding that the office has often resembled a « military squadron. »

A NASA spokesman told SPACE.com that astronauts decide for themselves what to reveal about their private lives.

« Certainly we try to be open with their professional activities and beyond that what they reveal privately is pretty much up to them, » said the spokesman, who asked not to be named. Still, the fact remains that no astronauts have ever come out as gay or lesbian, while many astronauts include mention of their husbands, wives or children on their NASA official biography pages. (As of today, Ride’s NASA bio page was updated to mention that she is survived by her mother, with no mention of her partner.)

Cassutt said even though he suspects there are or have been some other gay or lesbian astronauts, and in spite of the progress made on LGBT issues, « I don’t expect anyone in the current corps to be ‘out’ any time soon, assuming anyone is gay. »

The implication is that even in 2012, a same-sex orientation could still earn an astronaut unwanted notoriety that would detract from a mission. Robert Pearlman, space historian and founding editor of collectSPACE.com (a SPACE.com partner site), said the choice to shield one’s sexuality « unfortunately cannot yet be labeled ‘behind the times.’ While there are a great many more people who are openly gay today, we are not yet to a point of universal acceptance, » he noted.

There is also the fact that 219 of the 330 current and former astronauts served in the military, according to NASA. The U.S. military operated under a « don’t ask, don’t tell » (DADT) policy from 1993 until 2011, under which gay and lesbian servicemen and women had to remain closeted or risk expulsion. The repeal of DADT last year allowed gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. military for the first time in history.

Of NASA’s continued culture of no one asking and no one telling, Gaffney of Marriage Equality USA said, « Ultimately, it’s a culture that needs to and will change. Harvey Milk said, ‘Come out, come out, wherever you are.’ The point being that the world needs to know, and LGBT youth need to see, that we really are everywhere and that includes people in every walk of life. Some professions have been quicker to change than others. Every profession is going to change. And the news this week about Sally Ride is just one more example of that. »

He added, « It will be part of her legacy that change will come to her profession as well. »

https://www.space.com/16735-gay-astronauts-sally-ride.html

 

 

 

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I escaped to Hong Kong for organise the resistance

NEW ERA OF KOREA

Since some weeks  I try and have success to escape North Korea.

I can do it because the help of the defenders of the Earth and Michel Duchaine in Quebec,Canada.

I give you some pictures of me and new girlfriend in Hong Kong and Macao.

I live actually in the house of a chinese girlfriend.

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Economic Armageddon is start:US Feds post $666 billion deficit for 2017 as government finances deteriorate

The american federal government posted a $666 billion deficit in the just-completed fiscal year 2017, the Treasury Department announced Friday, marking another year of deteriorating finances as the government slinks back toward the trillion-dollar mark.

Trump_Inauguration_37599.jpg-22a69_c0-217-5179-3236_s885x516
President Donald Trump walks with former President Barack Obama on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, prior to Obama’s departure from the 2017 Presidential Inauguration

 

It’s a black eye for both President Trump and former President Barack Obama, who split responsibility for the fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, 2016, and ran through Sept. 30.

The deficit is the worst since 2013.

Federal spending grew twice as fast as revenue, accounting for the massive jump in red ink, which rose $80 billion over last year’s $586 billion total.

The figures come just as Republicans are hoping to pass a budget that could lead to even deeper deficits in the near future, and could complicate the GOP’s path to a major tax overhaul.

But Trump administration officials sought to use the numbers to bolster their case for tax cuts, blaming “historically subpar economic growth” for the fiscal struggles.

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said Sunday that the administration has concluded Congress isn’t interested in trimming the budget, so there’s only one option.

“We had offered $54 billion worth of discretionary cuts in our budget back in March. Only about $4 billion or $5 billion had survived so far on the Hill. We’re not going to be able to cut our way to balance,” Mr. Mulvaney told “Face the Nation” on CBS.

“So the next part of the plan, the next part of that — sort of the calculus, right [that] deficits are revenues less expenditures — is to focus on the revenues. How do we get government revenues up?” he said.

The biggest drivers of the spending increases were Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — the large entitlement programs that budget watchdogs say will eventually break the federal budget.

Social Security and Medicare increases were a reflection of the aging population, while Medicaid’s increase was due to Obamacare expansion, the CBO said in its analysis of the numbers.

But President Trump has said he won’t consider changes to those programs — a vow Mr. Mulvaney said the president has reiterated to him in recent days — so there’s little chance of a solution there.

Spending on Obamacare’s subsidies for health plans purchased on the exchanges soared by 27 percent as taxpayers had to cover ever-rising premiums within the struggling marketplaces.

The Defense Department, by contrast, grew at just 1 percent.

Other big changes were spikes in loan guarantee costs at the Education and Housing and Urban Development departments.

Interest on the debt also soared by 10 percent.

Veterans Affairs spending grew by $9 billion as the department tried to keep up with growing demand and the fallout from the waitlist scandal that led to a new program allowing veterans to seek care at private clinics and have the government reimburse those costs.

 

 

 

 

 

A Month of French Authors/Un Mois d’Auteurs Français — Evelyne Holingue

The French author Françoise XENAKIS is going solo for the letter X It’s good to have Xenakis alone as the auteure du jour. I still remember reading Zut, on a encore oublié Madame Freud in the 1980s. The book is not available in English, but its translated title would be something like, “Shoot, we’ve again […]

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