The United States Mint announced last week that known LGBTQ+ women Sally Ride and Nina Otero-Warren will be two of five featured women to be on quarters in 2022 as part of the mint’s American Women Quarters Program announced earlier this year.
Sally Ride was a physicist, astronaut, and educator who became the first woman to travel to space. After her death, her obituary revealed her 27-year-long relationship with Tam O’Shaughnessy, making Ride also the first known LGBTQ+ person to travel to space.
Ride’s coin features the scientist next to a space shuttle’s window. The design was inspired by her quote “But when I wasn’t working, I was usually at a window looking down at Earth.”
A suffragette and politician, Otero-Warren will be the first Hispanic American to be featured on U.S. currency. She was the first woman superintendent of Santa Fe public schools. Otero-Warren had a relationship with a woman named Mamie Meadors in the 1920s. The two lived in different houses on the same homestead in New Mexico called “Las Dos,” the two women.
Her coin will feature yucca flowers, the state flowers of New Mexico, as well as the phrase “voto para la mujer,” which is the Spanish version of the suffragist slogan “votes for women.”
Other women to be featured next year include poet Maya Angelou, Cherokee Nation leader Wilma Mankiller, and Asian-American actress Anna May Wong. Wong also was rumored to have had relationships with other women, including one with actress Marlene Dietrich.
Future coins will feature women who have contributed from a variety of fields such as suffrage, civil rights, abolition, government, humanities, science, space, and the arts. Due to public law, no living person may appear on coins.
“These inspiring coin designs tell the stories of five extraordinary women whose contributions are indelibly etched in American culture,” said United States Mint Acting Director Alison Doone in a press release. “Generations to come will look at coins bearing these designs and be reminded of what can be accomplished with vision, determination, and a desire to improve opportunities for all.”
The American Women Quarters Program will run from 2022 to 2025.