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Megan Rapinoe Is First Openly Gay Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model

Megan Rapinoe Is First Openly Gay 'Sports Illustrated' Swimsuit Model

Megan Rapinoe Is First Openly Gay 'Sports Illustrated' Swimsuit Model

The soccer star came out in 2012.


Openly gay soccer star Megan Rapinoe is making history by becoming the first openly gay woman to feature in Sports Illustrated’s infamous Swimsuit Issue.

Rapinoe said she participated in the magazine because she wants to challenge how LGBTQ athletes are perceived, and brush away stereotypes.

“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,” she said. “So, to kind of just blow that up and do something totally different I think is really important.”

Rapinoe came out publicly back in 2012, in an interview with Out — “In female sports, if you’re gay, most likely your team knows it pretty quickly. It’s very open and widely supported,” she said at the time.

Since then, she has been involved in philanthropic work with the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and became an ambassador for Athlete Ally, which fights against homophobia in sports.

And her participation in this issue of Sports Illustrated is yet another way to combat that homophobia.

“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,” Rapinoe said.

She 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 continue to push those boundaries."

The rest of her photos from the shoot can be seen here.

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