Science

Pansexual Astronaut Cameron Bess Talks About Launching With Blue Origin And Why Diversity Matters In Space

Pansexual Twitch streamer Cameron Bess fulfilled his lifelong dream of going into space on Saturday (December 11), framing the opportunity as a moment of important representation for the LGBTQ + community.

Bess went on a suborbital journey with Blue Origin as one of six space tourists on the company’s New Shepard rocket. They flew with their father, Lane Bess, as one of four paying mission passengers who were joined by “Good Morning America” ​​host Michael Strahan and Laura Shepard Churchley, daughter of the first American in space Alan Shepard, in the flight.

“All my life I’ve wanted to make people who feel like they don’t have a place feel welcome,” Bess, who broadcasts live under the control of Twitch MeepsKitten, told Xtra in early December.

“I’m not a hero here; I’m just going for a spin,” they added.

Video: Watch Michael Strahan and his crew float in space with Blue Origin

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Blue Origin New Shepard NS-19 passenger Cameron Bess holds a toy soccer ball as he floats in weightlessness during his suborbital space flight on December 11, 2021.

Blue Origin New Shepard NS-19 passenger Cameron Bess holds a toy soccer ball as he floats in weightlessness during his suborbital space flight on December 11, 2021. (Image credit: Blue Origin)

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Blue Origin New Shepard NS-19 passenger Cameron Bess holds a

Blue Origin New Shepard NS-19 passenger Cameron Bess holds a “Meowdy” message as he floats in weightlessness during his suborbital space flight on December 11, 2021. (Image credit: Blue Origin)

Bess traveled into space alongside her father Lane Bess, director and founder of a technology-focused venture fund called Bess Ventures and Advisory, during the Blue Origin NS-19 flight.

The Besses are the first parent-child duo to fly in space together, and Cameron also joins a small number of known LGBTQ + astronauts who have made it to space, among more than 600 space fliers in all.

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Bess carried the pansexual flag with them into suborbital space, along with a paw to represent the “hairy” community that has interests in anthropomorphic animals – that is, animals with human-like qualities. (Bess has a full furry suit that they were showing on Twitter, but due to massive restrictions, there was no room for the entire outfit on the New Shepard spacecraft.)

The new commercial astronaut joins just two other known LGBTQ + individuals who have made it to space: NASA astronauts Sally Ride (now deceased) and Anne McClain (who is still in the body). Ride only revealed her same-sex relationship posthumously, while McClain went public due to a legal situation with her ex-spouse.

Bess, saying that they are so thankful that her father is so supportive of them, participated in pre-flight activities such as posing with the pansexual flag and signing a commemorative postcard with the word “Diversity.”

“It’s cheesy,” Bess said of the postcard on Twitter, “but it’s good hope for the future.”

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or on Facebook.

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