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!”
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) June 28, 2019
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.
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 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.