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Partners Sue Bird, Megan Rapinoe Strip Down for ESPN Mag's Body Issue

Partners Sue Bird, Megan Rapinoe Strip Down for ESPN Mag's Body Issue


WNBA titan Sue Bird bares it all with her girlfriend, soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe, for a history-making cover. 

Just a year after coming out, Seattle Storm player Sue Bird posed nude with her girlfriend, Olympic soccer star Megan Rapinoe, for the cover of ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue. The women are the first same-sex couple to be featured on the cover of the publication.

"The way I see it is more how you want to change the conversation or change the narrative of things," Bird told ESPN. "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."

Bird came out as gay last summer, after years of keeping her relationship with Rapinoe out of the limelight. Rapinoe, however, has been outspoken about her LGBT identity and traveled around the country trying to normalize queer athletes as an ambassador for advocacy group Athlete Ally.

"People want -- they need -- to see that there are people like me playing soccer for the good ol' U.S. of A," Rapinoe told Out in 2012.

Although Bird had been open about her relationship to her friends and family with Rapinoe, she realized that "visibility is important."

The striking image of the couple, who are featured as one of 10 covers for the issue's tenth anniversary, showcases the women naked and confident. But the ladies, who have a combined total of five Olympic gold medals between them, do not want "to do things and be like, 'We're the gay couple.'"

The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.

The couple met at a sponsorship event at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. They became a couple that fall.

Bird says Rapinoe encouraged her to publically announce her sexuality. "She opened my eyes to another way of looking at it, which is that in today's time, in today's society, it's still important to kind of say it to make it the norm," Bird told the Seattle Times.

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Ariel Sobel