Megan Rapinoe: The Lesbian We All Need
It’s official: Megan Rapinoe, one of the stars of the US women’s national soccer team that won the World Championship, is the Lesbian We All Need, especially during these dark days.
How can we not love her? She’s an out-lesbian who’s loud about her many advocacies, proud of her achievements, and won’t take shit from men– especially from the president of the United States.
Of course, we all know that Rapinoe’s moment in 2019 came when– while she was playing at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup last July 7– she got a penalty kick that helped the US defeat the Netherlands.
While this victory gave them a ticker tape parade in New York City upon their return to the US, Rapinoe’s star had already been shining bright.
Megan Rapinoe: Enduring excellence
Born 5 July 1985, Rapinoe was born and raised in Redding, California to a large family, including a fraternal twin, Rachael.
She took up soccer at the age of three, following her older brother, Brian, who she idolized. She played in teams coached by her father, but went to play for the Elk Grover Pride club team in high school.
Later on, both Megan and Rachael kept at soccer to get away from the drug problem that had gotten her older brother sent to prison and was prevalent in rural California.
“It gave me a broader perspective on the criminal justice system, the people in there. They’re your brothers, your friends and brothers,” Rapinoe said.
She added: “In a large way, especially as I’ve gotten older, that shaped my view on that in particular, but obviously that has a lot of ramification outside of just drug abuse.”
Aside from soccer, Megan excelled in other sports: competing in track as a freshman and sophomore, basketball as a freshman, sophomore, and senior.
Megan Rapinoe: A rising star
Rapinoe played in the under-16 national soccer team in 2002 as well as the under-19, scoring three goals during the 2004 FIFA Under-19 Women’s World Championship in Thailand.
She missed the the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2008 Beijing Olympics due to an injury but went on to play during the 2009 Algarve Cup.
She began her professional career when she was chosen as second overall in the 2009 WPS Draft by the Chicago Red Stars in the inaugural season of the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS).
She’s played for various teams, and in different countries, from Australia (Sydney FC) to France (Olympique Lyonnais).
She was named to the United States roster for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. She showed her now-familiar flair after scoring a victory by singing Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” on an open mic after scoring a goal.
Shen then helped lead the US to a gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and went on to play for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.
Megan Rapinoe: Always a fighter
Rapinoe has used the platform she’s gained as a top soccer player to fight in what she’s believe in, calling herself as a “walking protest.”
Even before, she’s made her position known about US President Donald Trump, calling him “sexist,” “misogynist,” and “racist.”
However, she gained the notice of the President when she replied to a question on whether the US team would visit the president, saying: “Pfft, I’m not going to the fucking White House.”
Prior to this, she got booed by her fans when she knelt during the US national anthem in solidarity with footballer Colin Kaepernick against police brutality.
Explaining her move, she said: “”I haven’t experienced over-policing, racial profiling, police brutality or the sight of a family member’s body lying dead in the street.”
“But I cannot stand idly by while there are people in this country who have had to deal with that kind of heartache,” she added.
Megan Rapinoe takes on unequal pay
Rapinoe and her fellow players took a stand in 2016 when they filed a lawsuit against the US soccer’s governing body in 2016 for alleged wage discrimination.
This lawsuit led to a new collective bargaining agreement, and inspired other women athletes to seek better pay.
What’s more, before the start of the 2019 World Cup in France, Rapinoe and several members of the US squad filed a federal class-action lawsuit against the US soccer federation for “institutionalized gender discrimination.”
The players and the federation are suppose to begin a mediation process after the World Cup. But the point had been made when, after the US team won the championship, fans shouted: “Equal pay! Equal pay!”
In an interview with CNN, Rapinoe said: “If we’re still having the argument ‘is there racism? Is there sexism?’– those things exist. We know they exist.”
“Insofar as we argue whether they exist, we’re wasting time on the issue. I just wish we would just confront them more honestly, so we can get onto the solutions,” she said.