U.S. Olympian Megan Rapinoe has come out as a lesbian in an interview with Out.
27-year-old football player Rapinoe spoke frankly about her sexuality in the interview, telling Out that she is gay and has been dating her Australian football player girlfriend for three years.
Rapinoe said that she’d just never been asked directly whether or not she is gay. “I think they were trying to be respectful and that it’s my job to say, ‘I’m gay,’ she said. “Which I am. For the record: I am gay.”
“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… In female sports, if you’re gay, most likely your team knows it pretty quickly. It’s very open and widely supported. For males, it’s not that way at all. It’s sad.”
Commenting on why she chose to discuss her sexuality publically, she said:
“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.”