The soccer player represented the US Women’s National Team in the issue, along with three of her teammates.
United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) captain Megan Rapinoe is the first openly gay woman to appear in the pages of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. Megan posed for the 2019 issue in St. Lucia along with fellow professional soccer players and USWNT members Alex Morgan, Crystal Dunn, and Abby Dahlkemper.
Megan told SI Swimsuit that she hopes her presence in the magazine will create an opportunity for meaningful conversation and help break down stereotypes about the LGBTQ community.
“I think it’s really quite a bold statement by Sports Illustrated to be honest because it has been seen as sort of this magazine only for heterosexual males,” Megan said. “I think so often with gay females in sports there’s this particular stereotype about it and there’s such a narrow view of what it means to be gay and be athletic. So, to kind of just blow that up and and do something totally different I think is really important.
“I think our view is still way too narrow of gay people in general” Megan added. “Stereotypes still very much persist and they are just such incomplete views of who we really are as people, so I think for that reason it’s really important to just continue to push those boundaries.”
Megan first opened up about her sexual orientation in 2012 in an interview with Out magazine and has been an outspoken advocate for several LGBTQ organizations. In 2018, she appeared on the cover of ESPN’s The Body Issue with girlfriend and WBNA player Sue Bird.