In an interview that recently ran in Out Magazine, the U.S. women’s soccer star said for the first time: “For the record: I am gay.”
She also revealed that she’s been dating Australian soccer player Sarah Walsh for over a year.
Rapinoe said she wasn’t really hiding her homosexuality, she just said that no one had ever directly asked her about it.
“I feel like sports in general are still homophobic, in the sense that not a lot of people are out,” Rapinoe said. “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.”
Rapinoe also spoke to USA Today regarding her decision to go public.
“To be honest I’ve been thinking about it for a while, trying to find a time that works, now leading up to the Olympics, people want to get personal stories. Our team in general is in a position where people look up to us and kids look up to us. I embrace that and I think I have a huge LGBT following. I think it’s pretty cool, the opportunity that I have, especially in sports. There’s really not that many out athletes. It’s important to be out and to live my life that way.”
“It’s about standing up and being counted and saying you’re proud of who you are.”
Rapinoe, who will be 27 years old on Thursday, said that the culture of public sports today makes it hard for male athletes to come out, but said she thinks it helps when a high-profile active athlete finally does admit he or she is gay.
Rapinoe currently plays for the Seattle Sounders following the disbanding of Women’s Professional Soccer after three seasons.
The American women’s soccer team will have its first match against France on July 25th in Glasgow.
- “I’m Gay,” Says Megan Rapinoe. “That’s Nice,” Says Everyone. [Megan Rapinoe] (deadspin.com)
- US women’s soccer player says she’s gay (offthebench.nbcsports.com)
- U.S women’s soccer national team player Megan Rapinoe: “I am gay” (tracking.si.com)
- USWNT Midfielder Megan Rapinoe Comes Out As Gay (sbnation.com)