Megan Rapinoe has officially kicked the mystery aside.
The standout soccer player who played for the Chicago Red Stars from 2009-2010 and is now preparing for the Summer Olympics with the U.S. Women's National Team confirmed in an interview with Out Magazine that she is gay.
"I feel like sports in general are still homophobic, in the sense that not a lot of people are out," she told Out Magazine. "I feel everyone is really craving [for] people to come out. People wantthey needto see that there are people like me playing soccer for the good ol' U.S. of A."
Rapinoe told the magazine that no one ever asked her directly about her sexual orientation. "I think they were trying to be respectful and that it's my job to say, 'I'm gay.' Which I am. For the record: I am gay," she told Out Magazine.
Rapinoe has been dating her girlfriend, an Australian soccer player, for three years, and even brought her home to visit her family in Northern California last Christmas, the magazine reported.
Rapinoe was profiled by the Windy City Times three years ago during her stint with the Red Starswhen she clearly was among the most popular Red Stars within the lesbian community.
"I think that's a good thing," Rapinoe told this reporter in 2009. "I think we need to bring people of all different walks of life into the game. I definitely think there's a place within the Red Stars organization for everyone.
"I want to make people feel like, when they go watch [the Red Stars], that there is someone like them on the team, and that we're not all the same on the team, that there is diversity. I think that's a good thing for the sport and our team in general."
Rapinoe was selected second overall in the 2009 Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) Draft by the Red Stars. She appeared in 18 games for the Red Stars in 2009, scoring two goals and assisting on three. She was named a WPS First-Team All-Star. In 2010, Rapinoe played in 20 games for the Red Stars, scoring one goal in the last game of the season.
Rapinoe went to the Philadelphia Independence in December 2010 when the Red Stars folded.
She now plays for the Seattle Sounders Women of the W-League.
Rapinoe told the Windy City Times three years ago that there definitely were lesbians in the WPS. "Gays and lesbians are everywhere in our society," she said at the time. "I know that our team has reached out to the gay and lesbian community, and I think that's important. I think there's a pretty good potential for a good fan base within that community."
The Windy City Times was a sponsor of the Red Stars, and Rapinoe said the cross-promotion "[was] a great thing. Windy City Media Group did promotions for Red Star games and had a special benefit for Lesbian Community Care Project at one home game.
"In female sports, if you're gay, most likely your team knows it pretty quickly," she told Out Magazine. "It's very open and widely supported. For males, it's not that way at all. It's sad."
A California native, Rapinoe played soccer at the University of Portlandand as a freshman in 2005, she led the Pilots to an undefeated season and the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship.
#1 Megan Rapinoe playing for the Red Stars in 2009, at a post-game benefit sponsored by Windy City Times, for the Lesbian Community Care Project. Photo by Mel Ferrand
#2 Megan Rapinoe (eight) playing for the Red Stars in 2009, at a post-game benefit sponsored by Windy City Times, for LCCP. Next to her is Abby Wambach, who played for the D.C. team. Also pictured: Tracy Baim from WCT (left) and Cat Jefcoat, then with LCCP. Photo by Hal Baim
Remaining photos: Megan Rapinoe playing for the Chicago Red Stars in 2009. Credit: Chicago Red Stars/David Durochik