In her new memoir, soccer star Megan
Rapinoe gushes about her new fiancee Sue Bird, who plays for the
WNBA's Seattle Storm.
Rapinoe and Bird, who began dating in
2016, announced their engagement late last month.
cheers Megan Rapinoe, Sue Bird engagement.)
In an excerpt from her just-out book
One Life, Rapinoe discusses the start of her relationship with
Bird. At the time, Rapinoe was in the headlines for kneeling during
the National Anthem in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, who was
protesting police violence.
“While my career was at its lowest
point, my personal life was flourishing,” Rapinoe wrote. “On the
downside, I was stressed, angry, and generally bent out of shape, and
I didn't make it easy for Sue.”
“She was amazing. Every time I
flipped out and picked up my cell, either to fire off an ill-advised
tweet or make an ill-advised phone call, she pulled me back. 'Take a
minute,' she’d say, 'and see if it still seems like a good idea.'”
“One of the best parts about being
with Sue during those weeks – besides falling madly in love – was
that I got to piggyback on her schedule.”
“When Sue trained, I trained; what
she ate – more vegetables, less sugar and carbs – I ate. I hadn’t
been eating enough, which had impacted my ability to train and kept
me hovering at 70 percent effort and engagement. Sue’s fitness and
nutrition schedules not only gave me a sense of strength and
stability that helped me power up to 100 percent; they also made Sue
and I feel as if we were in this together.”
“At the beginning of the 2017 season,
after six months on the new regimen, I was so fit and healthy my
entire physique had changed. One look at me and it was blatantly
obvious: I was stronger and leaner than before. I was mentally fit,
too. By helping me with my diet and training, Sue wasn’t just
giving me practical support. It was emotional, too, and during those
weeks and months, I felt as if she were wrapping me up and taking
care of me, nursing me back to health both physically and mentally.
Sue doesn’t gush, or fuss, or make a big deal out of things, but
the fact that she dived headfirst into this absolute dumpster fire of
my life was an expression of such love, and tenderness, and strength
all in one, that for the first time in my life, I allowed myself
truly to melt into someone.”
Rapinoe also talks about Bird's
decision in 2017 to publicly come out as lesbian.
“[W]hen it was clear we were firmly
together, she scheduled an interview with ESPN,” she
In 2018, the couple talked to a
reporter about “how it felt to be symbols to a lot of people, and
Sue talked about coming out earlier in the year.”
Bird told the reporter that being out
is not the same as being publicly out.
“'Being around Megan, I learned that.
And then after I came out, just seeing the reactions, having people
come up to me directly' – I was naturally outspoken; Sue was
naturally reserved – but coming out publicly had struck us in
exactly the same way, as a vital form of visibility. 'I think there’s
just something really powerful about that.'”