Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe Were Simply Delighted To Shoot The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Together

Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird Grace the Cover of Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition

While Sports Illustrated itself is publishing articles by A.I-generated writers, the Swimsuit Edition has chosen a batch of real human models to appear in its annual Swimsuit edition. The “legends” issue, hitting newsstands today, celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition by featuring an array of previous models as well as a few newcomers. Amongst those included are iconic athletes and superstar power lesbian sports couple Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird. You can see the full gallery of Sue and Megan on the Sports Illustrated website and it’s pretty cute, everyone did a nice job.

Both have appeared in previous Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues — Bird in 2022, and Rapinoe in 2019 and 2023. But this year they are posing together and talked to Sports Illustrated about this experience. Bird shared:

“I’m sure there is like a meaning to this about us two being athletes, being gay athletes, being a couple, all these like sweet, wonderful, powerful things, that being in this anniversary issue is gonna, or Legends issue, say that over. There’s something wonderful about being in the Legends issue for what it means, but honestly, I think it’s just great doing this with you for me personally. I know there’s like this outside meaning, but it’s meaningful.”

Rapinoe apparently then asked Bird if thinking about this was going to make her cry and Bird replied, “I don’t know, maybe. It’s so cute. I love doing stuff with you.”

Rapinoe also shared how fun their life is now as retired athletes: “It’s fun to be able to do these fun things together. Yeah, and have all these crazy laughs. Like having all of these incredible supermodels behind us being supermodels and us being down in front being like, what? Fake it ’til you make it.”

The SI Swimsuit Issue first debuted in the winter of 1964, and was initially intended to be a space-filler during a part of the year when both basketball and hockey seasons had ended, although it gradually became its own cultural phenomenon. Several of the magazine’s major milestone models have returned for this Legends edition — like Tyra Banks, the first Black model to appear on the cover (in 1997) and LGBTQ activist Leyna Bloom, who became the first trans woman covergirl in 2021 (the first openly trans model inside the issue itself was Valentina Sampaio, in 2020). Martha Stewart also returned for Legends after becoming, in 2023, the issue’s oldest cover model.

Rapinoe’s first swimsuit foray, in 2019, was alongside USWNT teammates Crystal Dunn, Alex Morgan and Abby Dahlkemper. She appeared inside the magazine.

Despite being the Swimsuit issue, a solid chunk of the featured models are not, in fact, wearing swimsuits, including Bird and Rapinoe. They are also the only cover stars photographed in suits, everyone else is in a swimsuit or a gown!

The 60th anniversary SI Swimsuit edition hits newsstands on May 15. That’s today!

Other Queer Pop Culture Stories For Your Day:

+ Midori Francis is leaving Grey’s Anatomy which is not a good sign for the series’ LGBTQ storylines!

+ The trailer for Season Three of Only Murders in the Building is here

+ Another great piece from Katie Barnes: Inside the WNBA’s boom, from Dena Head to Caitlin Clark

+ I feel like this is one of those shows that either will be gay or will seem like it should be gayer than it is. Anyhow it’s called Dope Girls and it’s an old-timey show with murder and girls in provocative dresses and money and people saying “after the war” a lot.

+ House of the Dragon’ Star Olivia Cooke Says ‘I Did Hate’ Becoming a Meme With ‘Negroni Spagliato’ Viral Video: All Your Hard Work ‘Gets Reduced to a F—ing TikTok’: “It’s just sad how you work for eight months and it f*cking gets reduced to a f*cking TikTok, and that makes me sad…I did hate it for a very long time. I was in the pub. A woman opened the door for me and she said with a thick Spanish accent, ‘Stunnin’!’ I was just like, ‘Oh my God. Over a decade’s worth of work reduced to a single word in my lexicon.”

+ Sarah Paulson Prefers Not to Cohabitate: on the Smartless podcast, Paulson discussed the pair’s unconventional living arrangement. When asked if they’d consider different bedrooms in the same house, she said no, explaining: “We like to fall asleep holding hands, Holland and I. We sleep holding hands. I like to sleep near her. I don’t want to be around her the rest of the time,” and then laughing, “Just lkidding.”

+ In related news: House of Dragon star hints Season 2 will lean into queer fan theory

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

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