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U.S. women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe expressed her support for transgender inclusion in sports in a recent interview published Sunday.
Rapinoe, who is engaged to WNBA legend Sue Bird, talked to Time magazine about a bevy of topics, including transgender people playing the same sports as the gender they identify as. Rapinoe was asked about the challenges she faces in her LGBTQ advocacy.
“For a long time, I was the only player that was out. And so just being the only spokesperson and making sure I’m setting the right example, saying the right things, whether it comes to gay marriage or difficult and nuanced topics like trans inclusion in sports,” Rapinoe told the magazine.
“Those are the challenges of just continuing to stay educated. I am not just speaking for me, I’m speaking for a lot of people. I don’t want to make anything weird. Nothing goes unsaid. Speak it plainly. And I’m gonna speak it loudly, and I think that that helps other people who maybe don’t have the ability to do that, or who aren’t in a place to do that quite yet.”
Rapinoe expressed support for “trans inclusion.”
“I’m 100% supportive of trans inclusion. People do not know very much about it. We’re missing almost everything. Frankly, I think what a lot of people know is versions of the right’s talking points because they’re very loud. They’re very consistent, and they’re relentless,” the Olympic gold medalist said.
“At the highest level, there is regulation. In collegiate sports, there is regulation. And at the Olympic and professional level. It’s not like it’s a free-for-all where everyone’s just doing whatever.”
Rapinoe said trans inclusion should be thought of more broadly than just through the sports prism.
“… Like that is not the way that we need to be framing this question. We’re talking about kids. We’re talking about people’s lives. We’re talking about the entire state government coming down on one child in some states, three children in some states. They are committing suicide, because they are being told that they’re gross and different and evil and sinful, and they can’t play sports with their friends that they grew up with. Not to mention trying to take away health care. I think it’s monstrous,” she added.
Rapinoe’s comments were published the same day FINA, the international governing body for elite swimming, approved new eligibility rules for trans swimmers.
The new policies will only permit swimmers who transitioned before the age of 12 to compete in women’s events. FINA members voted 71.5% in favor of the new policies.
There was also a proposal for a new “open competition policy.” The organization said it was setting up “a new working group that will spend the next six months looking at the most effective ways to set up this new category.”