Megan Rapinoe Thanks Transgender Community in Moving ‘TIME’ Woman of the Year Speech

The USWNT champ was recognized for her work as an athlete and equality advocate.
Megan Rapinoe

Megan Rapinoe.


TIME magazine hosted its second annual Women of the Year Gala on Wednesday in Los Angeles. The ceremony, which fell on International Women’s Day, honored nearly a dozen actors, athletes and musicians, including USWNT star Megan Rapinoe. 

The 37-year-old, who has won two World Cups and two Olympic medals, was recognized not only for her achievements as an athlete, but those as an equal pay advocate. During a speech at the event, Rapinoe thanked her partner, Sue Bird, and gave a special shout-out to the transgender community.

“I want to not only just dedicate this [to] but thank the trans community and just say that I am only here because of them,” she said. “I think we all know what’s going on in our country with really the attempted genocide, erasure of trans people in our country, and globally, but particularly in our country, and I think so often we say, ‘That’s not right,’ or ‘That’s not right to do that to trans people,’ but I think we need to look at it [in] a little bit different way and just look at what trans people have given us, [which] is just an opportunity to live a whole life and to be a whole person, whatever that may mean to you.”

Rapinoe went on to share that she’s experienced so much “expansion” over the last few years because of the relationships she has with trans people, including her teammates and close friends.

“Just the perspective that I have and what I’ve been given by them, not just our support to them, but the way that they refuse to live their life any other way than completely whole, is so inspiring...,” she said. “They offer us a full view of what it means to be a human in the world.”

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Cara O’Bleness

CARA O’BLENESS

Cara is a trending news writer/editor for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. A passionate writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in print and online media, she loves storytelling and believes that words have the power to change the world. Prior to joining the team, Cara worked as a writer and editor across a number of content verticals, including food, lifestyle, health and wellness, and small business and entrepreneurship. In her free time, Cara loves reading, spending time with her family and making her way through Michigan’s many microbreweries. She is a graduate of Michigan State University's School of Journalism.