Megan Rapinoe covers the June/July 2021 ‘Freedom’ issue of Harper’s Bazaar magazine photographed by Ryan McGinley and styled by Yashua Simmons.
On how her family supported her growing up: “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.”
On how her upbringing and identity has driven Rapinoe’s activism: “One of the greatest gifts I’ve been given is to be gay and to have this perspective,” she says. [To her, it’s all connected: kneeling for racial justice, the equal pay fight, defending trans kids in a Washington Post op-ed. In the past year, Rapinoe’s voice has gained prominence in the political arena: She endorsed Senator Elizabeth Warren in the Democratic presidential primary; interviewed Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez about the first Covid relief bill on Instagram; and filmed the HBO special Seeing America With Megan Rapinoe.]
On the U.S. Soccer Federation’s court filing that argued that the job of the men’s team ‘carries more responsibility’ and ‘requires a higher level of skill’ than that of the women’s: “That was a fairly big ‘f*** you’ to us.”
On the importance of equal pay and what is represents: “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.”
On showcasing joy in her life: “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.”
Megan’s fiancé Sue Bird, the Seattle Storm point guard, on her charisma: “She’s infectious. Whether you’re doing fireball shots or talking about equal pay, she just has a way of drawing people in.”
Megan’s teammate Becky Sauerbrunn on how she has a way of drawing people in: “When Pinoe speaks, everyone listens. She can inspire and move people in a way that I haven’t seen a lot of other people be able to do…Her charisma and witty humor bring people along,”
[Photo Credit: Ryan McGinley for Harper’s Bazaar Magazine]
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