Tag: Rapinoe

New Megan Rapinoe Picture Book Bio Shows Her Rise to Soccer Stardom and Coming Out

New Megan Rapinoe Picture Book Bio Shows Her Rise to

Some picture-book biographies of gay and lesbian people mention their queerness in passing (if at all) and move on. But a new picture-book biography of Megan Rapinoe shows the evolution of her realization that she is gay while she also rises to soccer superstardom.

Megan Rapinoe (LIttle People, Big Dreams)

Megan and her twin sister Rachael grew up playing sports with their brother Brian, we learn in Megan Rapinoe, by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara, part of the “Little People, Big Dreams” series from Frances Lincoln Children’s Books. When Megan started sixth grade, however, “everything changed” and her friends were “too busy having boyfriends and girlfriends! Megan wasn’t sure she was interested in boys,” we read. Given that the book doesn’t indicate which of her friends were interested in boyfriends versus girlfriends, it may be unclear to young readers how different this really made her—but on the next page, we also read that Megan “felt different from most of the other girls,” preferring short hair and sweatpants to skirts and ponytails. “But she knew there were lots of ways to be a girl. She just wanted to be herself,” we learn—a great message for all.

Megan Rapinoe: Little People, Big DreamsThe book takes us on through her growth as a soccer player. A few points could have used more context or explanation for the target age group (4 to 7 years). What exactly is the Women’s Premier Soccer League that she and her sister played in? What does it mean that Megan “turned pro”? And will readers in the target age range (4 to 7 years) even know what the Olympics or World Cup are? A little adult guidance, however, may help young readers through these issues.

Some other places could also use a little polish. We learn that Megan and Rachael “both received … a college scholarship”—but since there were two of them, this should have been “…college scholarships” (or “both” should have been “each”). And one page says that Megan defended causes like equal pay and equal rights, and that she and Rachael ran a summer camp for kids; it’s unclear if these two activities are related.

By being truly herself on and off the field, little Megan became one of the most beloved soccer players in the world—and the best possible Megan she ever dreamt to be.

Rapinoe’s dedication to her sport comes through clearly, though. Combine that with the empowering treatment of her coming out, and the overall impact more than makes up for any minor stylistic flaws. We read that, “While Megan was at college, she realized she was attracted to women. Before she went to the London Olympics, she told the world that she was gay.” Adults may just want to clarify to young readers that being gay means being attracted to someone of the same sex, not just being attracted to women (otherwise straight men would be “gay”). Vegara deserves full credit,  however, for showing Rapinoe’s coming out arc from childhood onward, and for emphasizing to young readers that “Being honest about who she was helped Megan to play her best.” The main premise of the book, that “by being truly herself on and off the field, little Megan became one of the most beloved soccer players in the world—and the best possible Megan she ever dreamt to be,” is a necessary message that resonates loud and clear.

The illustrations by Paulina Morgan are bright, cartoon-y, and cheery. Her round-faced depiction of Rapinoe might not look too much like the real Rapinoe’s angular visage, but the caricature has Rapinoe’s signature hair swoop (first blonde, then pink) and energy. At the end of the book are four photos of the real Rapinoe, along with further details about her life.

This is a positive addition to the small but growing collection of picture book biographies that show LGBTQ people as LGBTQ people. Pair it, perhaps, with Brad Meltzer’s similarly cartoon-y but also meaningful I am Billie Jean King, and inspire the young people in your life.

GQ Declares Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird “The Most Beloved Power Couple in Sports”

GQ Declares Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird "The Most Beloved

Well I will just be honest with you: Around here, we are excited about all things fundraiser!! Autostraddle is working hard to raise the funds we need to keep us afloat through summer. Everything right now might be terrible, but with your help indie queer media doesn’t have to be one of the things this universe takes away from us! If you’re curious about learning more about why fundraising is a part of Autostraddle’s business model, our A+ Director Nicole is here with all the details, facts, and figures you shall need!

If can be personal for just one moment, I love this little tiny corner of the website so fucking much, it is my home. I know how many of you feel the same way, you’re my family too. So from queer family to family — thank you for your help.

Ok! Now let’s get to the news!

Queer as in F*ck You

Megan Rapinoe & Sue Bird: The Most Beloved Power Couple in Sports. And I SWOON! (Also this is a really well done profile piece!)

And speaking of sports power couples, from the wife of Abby Wambach may I present you with: Glennon Doyle’s Honesty Gospel

Oh we aren’t done with the sports gays news yet! Yes, Trans People Belong in Sports by non-binary WNBA Star Layshia Clarendon of the New York Liberty (!!)

A blonde American Girl doll is posed as if she is hiking with Koalas in Australia. She has on a pink backpack.

Is our girl out here HIKING WITH KOALAS!?!? Ok now that’s gay.

One Million Moms Boycotts American Girl Over Doll With Lesbian Aunts (From Stef: “Wait my 3-year-old niece has been GETTING STICKERS ON A CHART to save up for this doll! Wow I had no idea she supported my lifestyle this much.”)

A group of actors in Germany, 185 of them!!, came out as LGBT+ en-masse, revealing that they have been warned to keep their identities a secret.

Pedro Pascal Sweetly Supports His Sister Lux After She Comes Out as a Trans Woman: ‘Mi Corazón.’ Pascal posted the magazine cover where his sister Lux comes out as a trans.

Queer Bronzeville: A Short History of Black Queer Chicago and AIDS Activism, 1920-1985. Yes!

Saw This, Thought of You

There was that big game on Sunday (you know the one) in which people sing the national anthem. That got me thinking about other famous Super Bowl national anthems, and specifically always Whitney Houston. Danyel Smith — a Black woman music journalist from the ’90s and ’00s and former EIC of Vibe Magazine ( I spent a lot of my teen years reading her, and she’s at least 30% of the reason I have the career I have now, anyway!) — has started a podcast entitled Black Girl Songbook, and the first episode is about Whitney singing the anthem, now already 30 years ago. If you can’t already tell my excitement, this listen is really not to be missed!

Dolly Parton Once Faced a Forest of Bears Rather Than Hook Up With a Bad Date. A legend!

Ok of course I’ve heard of the Puppy Bowl, but no one told me that there’s a Kitten Bowl!

I saw this when it went viral over the weekend, and this shit is HILARIOUS! Serena Williams Can’t Keep Track of All Her Trophies

“If we’ve learned one thing as disabled design critics, it is that stories inform the way we design. Disabled people are the original FlyEase consumer.” Why Won’t Nike Use the Word Disabled to Promote Its New Go FlyEase Shoe? I’ve been seeing the FlyEase everywhere lately, and this is an excellent read.

The Primal Scream. A series from The New York Times examining the pandemic’s effect on working mothers in America that’s had our whole team buzzing for days.

‘It’s Sheer! It’s Queer!’: Redesigning and Diversifying Beauty Ads of the Past (I really enjoyed this!!)

Political Snacks

Some reading timed for Impeachment Trial Day: The Link Between the Capitol Insurrectionists and Abusers.

And this one is also superb: QAnon and the Cultification of the American Right

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Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe Are Engaged, Love Will Never Be a Lie Again!

Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe Are Engaged, Love Will Never

Friends! Lesbians! Queers! Good Straddlers of this land! Lend me your ears! The time has finally come to declare, once and for all, that love is not a lie! And lo, it shall never be a lie again! For Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe are ENGAYGED TO BE MARRIED!

I’m sure more information will be available soon, but for now:

Bird and Rapinoe first announced their relationship in 2017. It was kind of just known, but finally someone asked Bird about it and she said, “I’m gay. Megan’s my girlfriend.” And that was that! In the nearly four years since then, they’ve become arguably the most famous lesbian couple on the planet, aided, weirdly, by Donald Trump, who took aim at Rapinoe during the 2019 World Cup, to which Bird responded with a blistering and loving essay and Rapinoe responded by… winning the World Cup. Then, this year, it was Bird’s turn to win a WNBA championship — the Seattle Storm and Bird’s fourth title — with Rapinoe by her side.

DANG I AM JUST SO GODDAMN HAPPY FOR THEM! These days are dark and this news is BRIGHT AS THE SUN THAT’S BACKLIGHTING MEGAN RAPINOE AS SHE SLIPS A RING ONTO SUE BIRD’S HAND! The only thing that could make me happier than this is confirmation that Rapinoe, like Ashlyn Harris, will wear sparkly soccer socks and a shorts tux at her wedding.


Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior writer who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She’s a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 1045 articles for us.

Sunday Funday Is Swooning Over Sue Bird With Megan Rapinoe

Sunday Funday Is Swooning Over Sue Bird With Megan Rapinoe

Happy Sunday, friends! Last Sunday was Ari’s last roundup for you, and they left you with so many good wishes and so much love! I’m here and queer to fill in until we have a new columnist to go steady with you. It’s a cool 61 degrees here in New York City; all my cats are in all the windows; and I’m going to make some buttermilk biscuits as soon as I publish this Funday! If, like me, you’re trying not to check the news incessantly because it’s terrible for your mental health, but also it’s hard not to check the news incessantly because everything is so forkin’ bananas, I hope you’ll remember to stay hydrated, at least, and that these good gay-ish links will keep you distracted for a little while.

+ It’s time for the WNBA finals, you gays! Seattle leads the Aces 1-0. Game two is today at 3:00pm. You’ve really gotta read this thing Megan Rapinoe wrote about Sue Bird.

+ How a Black lesbian took down a racist, pandemic-partying fraternity in the deep south.

+ Trans recognition is improving despite right-wing backlash around the world.

+ The elusive Mariah Carey’s new memoir.

+ Related!

+ Japan Airlines drops “ladies and gentlemen” for gender-neutral greetings.

+ The unsung heroes of suffrage and Civil Rights movement.

+ Natalie has published her comprehensive voter’s guide! Remember: making a plan to vote on election day is like shopping for Christmas on December 24th. Today’s the last day to register to vote in Alaska and South Carolina, and Monday’s the last day for Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas!

+ TikTok’s queer “it girls” are creating new LGBTQ+ safe spaces.

+ Laura Jane Grace’s surprise new album is “everything quarantine music should be.” 

+ Doris Burke on life inside the NBA bubble.

+ Canada revives efforts to ban conversion therapy nationwide.

+ You’ve probably heard by now, queer people are way more likely to suffer from migraines. One of my all-time favorite YouTubers, queer disability activist and all around charmer, Jessica Kellgren-Fozard, has made you a video of migraine cures NOT to try.

Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior writer who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She’s a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 1024 articles for us.

Also.Also.Also: Megan Rapinoe and AOC Joining Forces to Fire Up Your Dreams, Definitely Save America

Also.Also.Also: Megan Rapinoe and AOC Joining Forces to Fire Up

I’m baaaaaaaaaack!!

A gif of the meme "Surprise bitch. I bet you thought you'd seen the last of me" from the television show "Scream Queens"

I am so happy to be back with you!! I’ve missed so you greatly. Today ended up being more hectic than I originally planned, so I’ll keep this short. But WOW DID I MISS YOU! Haha, did I say “miss you” enough yet? Also thank you so much to Natalie for keeping the link roundup going through the hot hot summer.

Let’s do this!

Queer as in F*ck You

AOC/Rapinoe!!! ALERT!! ALERT!!


I love all the people in this trailer and look forward to being fully glued to my screen and thinking smart thoughts about the future of our country with them! Also(also.also.)… much respect to my favorite congresswoman for all of her intellectual and political prowess, but wow AOC looks like a stone cold babe here. (I’m sorry! It had to be said!)

And speaking of babes..

Photograph of Alexis De Veaux (writer, speaker, activist) and Sokari Ekine (visual scholar, writer, activist, educator) © Delphine Diallo

Alexis De Veaux and Sokari Ekine, photographed by Delphine Diallo. See more of Delphine Diallo’s portraits.

Lived Experience: Delphine Diallo’s Powerful Portraits of LGBTQ+ People Aged Over 50. This was actually published in February, but it’s burned through all my social circles this week. And for good reason!

Alison Bechdel on the Pioneering Queer Cartoonist Who Inspired Her Career

An Afro-Latina Trans Sex Worker in Colombia Died After Paramedics Failed To Take Her To The Hospital. Fuck this.

‘We’re Living in Fear’: LGBT People in Italy Pin Hopes on New Law

‘Am I Bisexual?’: A Guide to Dating Women for the First Time in Adulthood

Minneapolis Protests: How the City’s Queer Musicians Are Thriving

Saw This, Thought of You

An absolutely gorgeous tribute to summer, and this summer in particular. The Magic of Black Girls’ Play

This weekend marked the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and there’s a beautiful spread with feature profiles from Wendy Lu: I’m Disabled & I Refuse To Be Your Inspiration (FYI, one of the of the features is of Jillian Mercado, of modeling, activism and — relevant to our collective interests, Generation:Q fame!)

Today was Emmy nomination day and What the Hell Do Latinx Actors and Shows Have to Do to Get an Emmy Nomination? I’m LIVID!!! (Looking for your gay Emmys coverage, including a rant ahem, my very clearly articulated anger about Pose’s shut out? We’ve got you covered.)

Saw This, Thought of You: Sportsball Edition

Natalie didn’t want to say goodbye and leave you all empty handed!!

+ World Rugby is considering a proposal to ban trans athletes under the guise of “safety;” Wales’ first gay inclusive rugby team calls the effort “wholly unjust and abhorrent:” Cardiff Lions criticise plans to ban transgender women from women’s rugby

The first ever NWSL Challenge Cup came to an exciting conclusion on Sunday and crowned a first-time champion:

+ NWSL’s unlikely Houston Dash give sport its first coronavirus-era champion

+ How the Orlando Pride turned a curse into a blessing

+ NWSL tells players to save a date for a return as Challenge Cup wraps up

+ Report: Samantha Mewis moves to Manchester City, possibly joined by Rose Lavelle

+ Few people have done more to elevate the women’s game than David Stern and now he’ll have a place among the pantheon: Women’s Basketball HOF to induct David Stern

+ The Mystics needed a center, and Alaina Coates, a former No. 2 pick, needed another chance; The former South Carolina Gamecocks star netted 6 points, 9 rebounds in her debut for the Mystics.

Brittney Griner: What it means to wear Breonna Taylor’s name on my jersey

The WNBA makes sure #SayHerName includes trans women

In “Men Also Play Sports” news: Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is the starting right guard for the Kansas City Chiefs and the first player to opt out of upcoming season. In the letter explaining his decision, Duvernay-Tardif writes, “If I am to take risks, I will do it caring for patients.” Oh, did I forget to mention that the Superbowl winning lineman is also an MD?

In “Who Could’ve Predicted This? Oh, Wait, Everyone” news: Is their season in jeopardy? What the Marlins’ coronavirus outbreak means for the team — and MLB

After a 2018 Florida referendum sought to restore voting rights to ex-felons, the governor stepped in to prevent registration by felons who hadn’t yet made monetary restitution for their crimes. Critics said the move was akin to establishing a new poll tax but the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court disagreed. Now basketball’s greatest player is stepping up to ensure ex-felons aren’t denied the franchise.

Meanwhile, LA Clippers guard Lou Williams broke out of the NBA bubble last week for “personal reasons” which, seemingly, included picking up wings at Magic City in Atlanta: NBA: Lou Williams to Miss Clippers’ Opening Games, Quarantine for 10 Days

Political Snacks

‘She Had No Remorse’: Why Kamala Harris Isn’t a Lock for VP. He’s literally still mad because she beat him in the debate, and then when asked about it: She laughed at him!! (Note: this story would only make me more likely to be want to vote for Kamala. Just saying.)

Biden Says He Will Choose His Running Mate Next Week. I don’t have the emotional wherewithal to survive this.