Megan Rapinoe: ‘One of the greatest gifts I’ve been given is to be gay’


Megan Rapinoe covers the latest issue of Harper’s Bazaar. The cover profile made me cry. Pinoe is just one of those people for me – I admire her so much and I find her so inspirational and just… righteous. She’s such a powerful and effective advocate for herself, her sport and her community, and she also happens to be an incredible ally across the board. She also looks amazing with pink and purple hair! I loved how Bazaar photographed her and the cover profile is badass. Some highlights:

On her mom: “[When I got a tattoo for her,] She would be like, ‘Oh, my God, you shouldn’t have done that.’ But she’d really secretly be like, ‘Oh, my God, I love it so much.’  We didn’t have any kind of progressive language around expressing your identity. But from a young age, my mom really understood me. I think she knew that I was a little bit different. My mom is one of eight kids from a very poor family. They got made fun of all the time; they didn’t have any money, and wore sh–ty clothes and whatever. She instilled this empathetic view in us.”

Her empathy stems from her sexuality: “One of the greatest gifts I’ve been given is to be gay and to have this perspective.” When I asked her what keeps her up at night in a post-Trump world, she answered without hesitating: “Voter suppression. Holy sh-t!”

Whether she thought U.S. Soccer would be forced to reconsider equal pay following the USWNT’s 2019 success: “I really did to be honest.” The lesson: “You can’t overachieve discrimination.”

U.S. Soccer claiming paying women their back-pay would bankrupt them. “I’m sorry that you practiced gender discrimination and didn’t budget that in. But they’re going to need to reallocate. Money is the way our society shows people, especially in sports, how we value them. We know exactly what’s in a contract every time a man signs it. We never know what women make. Why is it? Because they’re not something to be proud of. We need to change that narrative.”

She’s so proud & supportive of her gay teammates too: “Often the stories we hear about LGBTQ, it’s so much about the struggle, that it’s going to be hard to come out. It’s really important to show the beautiful joys of being gay.”

On being civically engaged: “We need to be really focused. It’s our responsibility to be civically engaged. Ultimately we choose what kind of system we want to live with. And we don’t have to live in this type of system anymore.”

[From Harper’s Bazaar]

There’s a lot in the piece about the US Women’s National Team’s ongoing lawsuit and negotiations with US Soccer. I cannot believe the stonewalling they’re getting, and it’s still mind-blowing to me that US Soccer will spend millions – literally, millions of dollars – on lobbyists, lawyers and assorted misogynistic experts to all mansplain why female soccer players should be paid less than the men for playing for their country. And then the same bros will cry poverty and cry about bankruptcy when it comes to paying the women what they’re owed. It’s especially galling because the women WIN. The American men do not. The American women are the gold-standard for every other country’s women’s national team, and even the USWNT can’t get even a third of what they’re asking for. It f–king sucks. Also, this is a total downer but I would buy a t-shirt that reads “You can’t overachieve discrimination.” It’s true. You can achieve and succeed and be amazing, but sometimes that won’t be enough to overcome discrimination.


Covers courtesy of Harper’s Bazaar.

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34 Responses to “Megan Rapinoe: ‘One of the greatest gifts I’ve been given is to be gay’”

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  1. Sigmund says:

    I love her so much! What an amazing role model.

  2. Astrid says:

    Thanks for covering this!

  3. BothSidesNow says:

    The cover of her is amazing!! It certainly displays her as the bad ass that she is!! I love her and she is certainly one who speaks her mind and doesn’t take the bullshit that they are feeding her. Maybe they should pay the men less and pay the women more from the men, since the women divisions always out perform the men! Bankruptcy my ass!! Code for we don’t want to!

  4. faithmobile says:

    My hero! Love her so much, there are no words.

  5. mellie says:

    Love her! I cannot wait to watch her and the team at the Olympics!

  6. GrnieWnie says:

    I call this outsider perspective. The more ways that you experienced being an outsider as a young child — whether in terms of your sexuality, race, gender, ethnicity, language, legal status, culture, physical ability, etc. — the more it can develop your empathy for others.

    • ME says:

      That is 100% true !

    • Dierski says:

      Yes!! Exactly this!

    • bettyrose says:

      Very true. I was an outsider but not on the basis of my sexuality, and historically speaking one’s sexuality was one of the hardest/most dangerous ways to be different. I think she’s lucky in the sense of having been born in a time period when the world was just opening up, though she’s still among the first to break through those barriers.

  7. Mimi says:

    Loooovvvvvveeeeeeee her ❤️

  8. Lola says:

    As a hetero woman I sincerely feel like it is a gift to be a gay woman, and if I could flip a switch and be gay I would do it with zero hesitation. There’s a lot of danger in being gay but there’s also a lot of danger in getting into vulnerable situations with cishet men. Neither is a paradise but if I had the option to choose, I would.

    • bettyrose says:

      I was thinking something similar. I love my longterm male partner, but if I were ever in the dating scene again I’m not sure I would want to deal with men. I’ve never been romantically involved with a woman, but I’ve occasionally been attracted to a woman, and I would probably explore that.

    • hey says:

      No offence, but have you considered you’re not as straight as you think you are?

      My journey as a bisexual woman started that way. I “wished” I could be gay. I thought being gay was wonderful. My friends were mostly LGBT people. My characters (I’m a writer as a hobby lol) were “coincidentally” always one flavour of LGBT.

      Sometimes we ignore the signs that are always there, that’s all.

  9. Watson says:

    She looks gorgeous in these pics but I sort of wish they had allowed more of her masc fashion vibes to shine. I guess it wouldn’t sell as well for a cover, but when a woman can pull off suits like Megan can it’s a superpower that should be exploited.

  10. Bess says:

    I never followed women’s football/soccer until the lead up to the 2019 Women’s World Cup. This is one inspiring group of women and Pinoe is their undisputed leader. I feel pleased that a generation of American girls will have these amazing women to look up to whether as athletes or in other endeavors.

  11. JT says:

    From what I understand, the pay disparity between the men and women on the US soccer team came down to the negotiations. They are all represented by the union and each union negotiated for a different pay structure. The men, who make more money paying for their private clubs, negotiated for more prize money over a stable salary. So a guy playing for Real Madrid, for example, doesn’t need the security from US soccer because he makes 10x more in his private club, and endorsements. The men also negotiated to get money based off of how long they last in tournaments like the World Cup. The men chose the riskier pay structure. If they don’t win, they don’t get paid.

    The women’s union negotiated for a guaranteed salary from US soccer because they do not make nearly as much in their private clubs. Most of the women’s livelihoods come from the stable salary of the US soccer team, which means less prize money for them when they win. Only the larger players like Rapinoe get the top money in endorsements. Most of the other females players do not. So even if the women don’t win, they are guaranteed their salary regardless. They also have more benefits as well. The women chose stability. So in theory, when it’s back to the negotiating table they can opt for the men’s pay structure.

    There was also some dust up over the men getting paid more in prize money for the World Cup, but that is FIFA, not US soccer. I guess the women felt that the US entity should make up the difference in prize money to match what the men would get from FIFA and the Us team said that isn’t on us.

    Obviously this is rather simplified and I don’t know all of the ins and outs, so there is room for error on my part.

    • Lola says:

      What I find weird about that is that no current member of the US men’s national team (as far as I know) is playing for a really really big money team like Real Madrid. I mean there’s Pulisic playing for Chelsea but that’s about it. Most of the rest of them are playing for pro teams in the USA that few people care about and don’t really have fans outside that city, or for smaller, more obscure teams in Europe. They aren’t making the big bucks. Also, do any of them besides Pulisic get any endorsements either? None of them are bringing in Ronaldo money or anything within several orders of magnitude of it.

      I could name a pretty large percentage of the starting 11 of most major European clubs, and a large percentage of the more important national teams (Brazil, France, Spain, England, etc.) but I can hardly think of any US men’s players off the top of my head. And I think it’s like that for most fans, even American fans.

      • Larisa says:

        Exactly, Lola, very few, if any, American players play for famous European teams. In fact, isn’t it a running joke that when European players (see Beckham) get too slow or old or injured to play in Europe, they are still highly desirable in the US?

      • JT says:

        Not every player is going to play for Ronaldo or Messi money. In fact, most don’t. Just like most actors aren’t getting paid like Angelina Jolie. Many male players make a very good salary for the clubs that they play with and it’s still more than what they would make for the US national team. By that logic, the same could be said for the women players. It’s not like they are on super famous clubs as as well making boatloads of money, hence their desire to negotiate for stability rather than risk like the men. Besides Rapinoe, how many very famous female players could you name off the top? The negotiated pay structure is actually more beneficial for the female players who aren’t household names because they have a guaranteed salary on top of benefits. If the women were to have a contract like the men’s, than the majority of female players would be shit out of luck. Only players like Rapinoe would come out on top.

      • Blue300 says:

        I live in Missouri and am a huge Sporting KC fan. Our city is pretty big on the club and somehow Sporting is always able to get players who are or could be HUGE in their home countries, and do go on national duty. The biggest superstar we currently have is Alan Pulido. He’s currently away with the Mexican National Team. We also just got back our professional women’s team who briefly had relocated to California. But I haven’t had a chance to go watch them yet.

  12. Vanilla Brown says:

    Lesbian here, I can agree. A woman’s body is a work of art.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      I think it is all down to perspective…. If I were to be gay, I would like to be a man too. I always despised my body (spent my life trying to make it masculine) and I always thought that a man’s body is a work of art. Just different perspectives..

  13. bitchyarchitect says:

    i’m so glad to finally see a mainstream fashion magazine put a gay woman on its cover. For so long now I feel like gay women have really been excluded from mainstream fashion and that mainstream fashion considers gay women un-fashionable. Now maybe they can start featuring some gay female designers.

  14. Singhsong says:

    I love that she and Sue Bird are a total Seattle power couple!

  15. Dierski says:

    Love her! Such an amazing person. And I am so happy every time I see her visibility rising, she is a true gem!!

  16. goofpuff says:

    I love her and that top photo is amazing!

  17. J ferber says:

    I love her, too. She’s amazing.

  18. Lenni says:

    Haven‘t read the article I want to say, the amount of sexual violence and trauma I have experienced with mrn, this is not the same with women. My best friend is gay, we have lived together for five years and I went out with her a lot. I was always treated with respect in gay bars and clubs. Women are just less violent. My friend has never been abused.

  19. hey says:

    I agree! I’m bisexual and being bisexual has been a wonderful gift. There’s homophobia and biphobia and all that comes from being bisexual is a heterosexist world. But I wouldn’t change myself to be straight.

  20. taneka says:

    Except she made some racist comments against Asians.

  21. taneka says:

    Except she made some racist comments against Asians.

  22. Nina says:

    Is everyone just going to ignore the elephant in the room? Yes, she is a gay icon, who just signed on to help one of the most misogynistic brands help rehabilitate their image. She just signed on as one of the faces for Victoria’s Secret. That would explain the fawning article in Vogue and the change in styling. Why is she wasting her band value on a company like that?