Megan Rapinoe came out as gay in a 2012 interview with Out Magazine. Rapinoe had not made her sexuality a secret prior to the interview but admitted that she had not been asked about being gay in prior media sessions.
“I feel like sports in general are still homophobic, in the sense that not a lot of people are out,” she says. “I feel everyone is really craving [for] people to come out. People want — they need — to see that there are people like me playing soccer for the good ol’ U.S. of A.”
Not that Rapinoe has been hiding anything; it’s just that no one ever asked her directly. “I think they were trying to be respectful and that it’s my job to say, ‘I’m gay.’ Which I am. For the record: I am gay,” she says. In fact, Rapinoe’s been dating her girlfriend, an Australian soccer player, for three years, and even brought her home to visit her family in Northern California last Christmas.
The soccer star technically came out in a previous 2012 interview with Kick TV. Rapinoe replied that “we’re out there” when asked if she believed a high-profile soccer player would ever come out.
Later in 2012, Rapinoe won the Board of Directors award from the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. Rapinoe spoke at the awards dinner about her decision to come out.
“Coming out was sort of an evolutionary process,” Rapinoe said, per OutSports. “I was like, why am I not out? I want to be out and I don’t have anything to hide, I’m very proud of who I am. ”
Megan Rapinoe’s Partner Is WNBA Star Sue Bird
Rapinoe is now in a different relationship than the one referenced in the Out interview as the soccer star started dating WNBA player Sue Bird in 2016, and her passion for the LGBTQ movement remains fervent. Prior to dating Bird, Rapinoe was engaged to musician Sera Cahoone.
Rapinoe recently made headlines for her comments about Donald Trump and avoiding a potential visit to the White House. Rapinoe has been vocal about her disapproval of the Trump administration, in part, because of policies impacting the gay community along with a number of other social issues.
Rapinoe Knelt During the National Anthem as a “Nod to Kaepernick”
Rapinoe has not limited her social justice efforts to LGBTQ rights, the soccer star knelt prior to soccer games as a way to show solidarity to the Black Lives Matter movement. During the World Cup, Rapinoe has stood during the anthem but chooses not to sing the words. Rapinoe elaborated on why she knelt during the anthem in an interview with USA Today.
It was very intentional. It was a little nod to Kaepernick and everything that he’s standing for right now. I think it’s actually pretty disgusting the way he was treated and the way that a lot of the media has covered it and made it about something that it absolutely isn’t. We need to have a more thoughtful, two-sided conversation about racial issues in this country.
Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties. It was something small that I could do and something that I plan to keep doing in the future and hopefully spark some meaningful conversation around it. It’s important to have white people stand in support of people of color on this. We don’t need to be the leading voice, of course, but standing in support of them is something that’s really powerful.