The 2012 Greggys: Soccer Olympic Gold Medalist Megan Rapinoe is Sports Star of the Year
US soccer star and Olympic gold medalist Megan Rapinoe decided that the time had come for her to be completely open about her sexuality.
So before competing in the Olympic Games in London, the 27-year-old midfielder on the US women’s soccer team came out publicly as a lesbian.
Rapinoe, winner of the 2012 Greggy for Sports Star of the Year, told me when we chatted last month that she has had no regrets.
‘I think it’s just nice to be open, there’s no more sort of omitting anything,’ she said. ‘It’s living my life as an open book which is really nice.’
Her decision to come out made her one of the less than two dozen openly gay athletes to compete in the Olympics.
‘I’d been thinking about it for about a year,’ she said. ‘It kind of got to the point in my life where it was, ‘Why am I not out?’ It’s an important thing. It’s important to me and I think it’s important in general. ‘I think my fans knew that I was gay and accepted me anyway and I think now it’s even been more of an embrace and more people have accepted me. I guess it’s just my rose colored glasses but I thought it was going to be positive.’
Rapinoe has been embraced by fans and by the LGBT community being featured in OUT Magazine and was honored at the LA Gay & Lesbian Center’s 41st Anniversary Gala in November.
‘I guess it puts into perspective what a big deal it really is,’ she said of that honor. ‘For me, it’s tough to contextualize what it means to everybody else but its such an honor to know that I’ve had an impact like this. It’s really amazing.’
Despite the increased attention, Rapinoe said her life has not really changed.
‘I think I live my life pretty openly, everybody in my life knew that I was gay so in that sense it’s not an Earth shaker,’ she says.
But she does find herself with a lot of new fans – including Greg In Hollywood!