Athletes Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird cover ESPN The Magazine's annual Body Issue, making them the first same-sex couple to appear on the cover.

Seattle Reign forward Rapinoe, who came out publicly in 2012, appeared in ESPN's 2014 issue. Two-time WNBA champion Sue Bird and Rapinoe began dating in 2016.

Rapinoe told ESPN that being the first same-sex couple is important because “visibility is important.”

“What better time than when we need to be celebrating things that are different about us and accepting them and trying to understand them better?” Rapinoe said of the Body Issue cover. “It's pretty incredible to be in this moment.”

“The way I see it is more how you want to change the conversation or change the narrative of things," Bird said. "I think having a gay couple on [the cover], hopefully it just becomes the norm. You want it to not be an issue. You want it to just be, Oh, another couple is on there. You know, I think for us to be on it is the first step in that direction."

An additional 14 athletes appear in the issue – available on newsstands Friday – including out Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon.