Welcome to day 19 of our 2019 Pride Month Series! Every day for the month of June, we will be highlighting a different member of the LGBTQ+ community, including fictional characters, celebrities, and activists alike — the positive voices within the LGBTQ+ community and in mainstream media.
Today’s spotlight is on U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe.
Rapinoe is currently signed with the Seattle Reign and is a member of the United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT). With over 50 international assists (and counting), she is currently one of the top providers in U.S. women’s soccer history.
Rapinoe is a busy woman: she plays full-time with the Seattle Reign, she co-captains the USWNT alongside Carli Lloyd and Alex Morgan, she is also a co-founder of the Rapinoe Brand and Re-Inc.
On top of being a world-class athlete and creator, Rapinoe is also an active member of the LGBTQ+ community.
Rapinoe came out as lesbian in a 2012 interview with Out magazine and has since been a very active and outspoken member of the community. Three years after coming out, she was one of nine athletes inducted into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame. She is also an ambassador for Athlete Ally, a U.S. nonprofit organization whose mission, according to their website, “…is to end the rampant homophobia and transphobia in sport and to activate the athletic community to exercise their leadership to champion LGBTQ equality.”
The Rapinoe Brand, co-founded with her sister Rachael Rapinoe, advocates for the Los Angeles LGBT Center, GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network), and the Human Rights Campaign, among others.
As for her newest business venture, Re-Inc (co-founded with fellow U.S. soccer stars Tobin Heath, Christen Press, and Meghan Klingenberg) is a brand of gender-neutral clothing aimed to be more inclusive.
The Rapinoe Brand is a lifestyle apparel business, as well as a soccer and performance training business. They sell t-shirts, tank tops, hoodies, and beanies, each adorned with the slogan “Be Your Best You.” They also host training clinics all across the U.S., teaching all who attend techniques and values that can be utilized both on and off the pitch. When it comes to bridging the gap between her professional life and her desire to do the most good in the world, Rapinoe says on the site, “I have had the opportunity to work with organizations such as HRC, LA Gay and Lesbian Center, GLSEN, and iACT and be a part of their mission of equality for all people.”
As for Re-Inc, they just launched within the month of June. They currently have two streetwear shirts available for pre-order, and their website says their products are for those “looking for a bold self-expression and non-binary design.”
Rapinoe is a champion both on and off the soccer pitch. On the field, she has played a vital role in the USWNT’s Olympic Gold, as well as with bringing home the Women’s World Cup trophy. But off the pitch, she plays just as vital of a role. She helps our youth become the best they can be, and she advocates for those that do not have a voice as loud as she does.
Right now, you can see Rapinoe playing for the U.S. at the Women’s World Cup in France. But when the tournament is over, you can catch her doing everything she can to positively impact the lives of those in the LGBTQ+ community, and inspiring the rest of us along the way.
Check out a part of Megan Rapinoe’s story, as told by her, here.
Be sure to tune in for the rest of our Pride series, which will release an article each day all this month! You can check out what we’ve already published here.