Sue Bird’s Essay About Megan Rapinoe Will Punch Your Heart in the Face in the Very Best Way

In two hours (from the time I hit publish on this post) the United States Women’s National Team will take on England in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, a tournament that’s always the absolute biggest deal in soccer, but has taken on even more significance this year as Donald Trump decided to go after Megan Rapinoe — whose vocal intersectional activism has always put her at odds with his oppression and tyranny — after a video of her saying, “I’m not going to the fucking White House” went viral last week. She responded to the media frenzy with not one, but two goals in last week’s victory over France, and struck such a pose after the first one that the entire world went berserk and Deadspin proclaimed “Purple-haired lesbian goddess flattens France like a crêpe!”

This morning Rapinoe’s partner, women’s basketball legend Sue Bird, penned a little essay in The Players’ Tribune called “So the President F*cking Hates My Girlfriend” and it is, without question, THE GREATEST THING I HAVE EVER READ IN MY LIFE. Bird opens thus: “I remember telling my editor here [after I broke my nose last season] something like, ‘It would take the President of the United States going on a hate-filled Twitter spree trolling my girlfriend while she was putting American soccer, women’s sports, equal pay, gay pride and TRUE LOVE on her back, all at once, scoring two majestic goals to lead Team USA to a thrilling victory over France and a place in the World Cup SEMIFINALS, for me to ever even think about writing again.'”

The essay follows the format of Bird’s old WNBA posts at the Players Tribune and is, ostensibly, about the World Cup semi-finals — but actually is THE GREATEST LESBIAN LOVE LETTER EVER WRITTEN (apologies to Emily Dickson, Mary Oliver, Anne Lister, and Vita Sackville-West). Part of it is about how surreal it was to become a personal target of Trump and his MAGA trolls, but most of it is just about how Megan Rapinoe is the baddest ass motherfucking athlete, partner, and human being in the world and how Sue Bird could not be more in love with her.

Like this:

But then Megan, man….. I’ll tell you what. You just cannot shake that girl. She’s going to do her thing, at her own damn speed, to her own damn rhythm, and she’s going to apologize to exactly NO ONE for it. So when all the Trump business started to go down last week, I mean — the fact that Megan just seemed completely unfazed? It’s strange to say, but that was probably the only normal thing about it. It’s not an act with her. It’s not a deflection. To me it’s more just like: Megan is at the boss level in the video game of knowing herself. She’s always been confident….. but that doesn’t mean she’s always been immune. She’s as sensitive as anyone — maybe more!! She’s just figured out how to harness that sensitivity.

And this:

And then eventually I came to realize the obvious: that Megan Goggles are a lot more than some cute running joke between us, about fashion choices or whatever — and that they’re actually this kind of skeleton key to Megan herself. Or, put another way: When I put on my Megan Goggles?? What I’m really doing, I think, is learning to understand her better — and, if this even makes any sense: I think at the same time, I’m learning how to understand myself better as well. I swear, it was like the most amazing thing happened [in the match against France]: It was like the entire country, all at once, for this one fleeting and improbable but also somehow very very very very possible moment….. PUT ON MEGAN GOGGLES.

Look, just go read it. You’ll never be the same.

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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Heather has written 1718 articles for us.


  1. It’s such an incredible piece! I can’t believe it exists! I love them so much! I was nervous so far this World Cup cause She is in Seattle while it’s going on and I was afraid they’d broken up. I hope if they win today she’ll be there for the final.

    • She’s been coaching! & she wore a Rapinoe jersey to the Storm game on the 21st! (I hope she goes to the final too but lord we needed her here!)

    • She referred to her semi-final prediction (U.S. 2-0 England) as “the prediction that results in me getting a summer trip to Paris,” so I think she will be there! (And I cannot. f*cking. wait.)

  2. I need to tell ya’ll that my (also queer) boss just came RUNNING into my office to tell me about this Sur Bird article. And then my girlfriend tagged me in a comment on the AS Facebook post about this article.

  3. So, anytime Sue Bird has nothing else going on in her life, she could write for Autostraddle, yeah?

  4. I just read this essay from the link in The Cut and ran over here to make sure it was duly noted!!!

  5. Between this and Roxane Gay and Debbie Millman at camp I think I might actually believe that love is not a lie

  6. I am not going to lie; due to the strong rivalry that goes a long way back in women’s sports between Canada and the US I normally due not support U.S teams. However, this person squatting in the white house had me spending my Canada Day long weekend cheering on the Women’s U.S Soccer Team. I hope they go all the way and shove it in that man’s face so hard, and that they have a big party in the House of Representatives bringing all there best winning celebration poses.


  8. I mean I have loved Megan Rapinoe for pretty much ever, as many other soccer loving queers can understand, but good lord I didn’t realize how incredible Sue Bird is! This is beautiful and hilarious and perfect and wonderful and this is everything!

  9. our relationship when it comes to Megan’s fashion is based on what you might call a “modified democracy,” where we both give our opinion and then Megan does what she wants

    So many great quotes but this is the one that makes me want to be friends with both of them.

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