The USWNT Said “Gay Rights!” Megan Rapinoe, Lesbianism Secure Incredible World Cup Victory

The USWNT pulled off an incredible feat this past weekend, not only capping one of the hardest final legs to victory ever, but making the president of their own country (who was rooting against them???) eat it on Twitter. That it was led by veterans and out lesbians Megan Rapinoe, Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger, celebrated with players running to kiss their girlfriends in the stands, and backed by millions of women of all orientations begging for the team to step on their necks is a gift that only the power of Christine Baranski screaming gay rights can give.

If it was all too much to handle, Rapinoe did warn us. “Go gays. You can’t win a championship without gays on your team,” she said in an interview days before the final. “It’s never been done before. Ever. That’s science right there.”

The “never” in that quote is an important inclusion there, especially considering the USWNT’s three previous World Cup championship wins. Because save for Abby Wambach’s wonderful array of undercuts and unabashed alignment with the LGBTQ community, the USWNT in its previous iterations has mostly been a sea of ambiguity. Sure, those of us who knew, knew, but until now it’s never been such a free-for-all of gay chaos™.

For women’s soccer, that’s saying something. I can say that because I played! Which means none of you can be mad at me!

Joining the ranks of out USWNT members yesterday was Kelley O’Hara, who was one of those players running to kiss their girlfriend in the stands. With that, my friend and I did some light accounting and calculated queer woman making up about 30% of the USWNT roster. Being watched in a final with more viewers than the 2018 men’s final.

It would be tempting to say that the numbers don’t matter, but putting myself as a kid watching my idols win the 1999 World Cup in the shoes of kids watching their idols win the 2019 World Cup, whew does it matter! May Carol Aird be waiting for you all with a martini in hand.

And for the rest of the USWNT team who confusingly choose not run to the stands to kiss a hot woman in celebration, well, like Alyssa Naeher standing in front of a penalty kick, we can dare to dream.

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Los Angeles based writer. Let's keep it clean out there!

Erin has written 208 articles for us.


    • She’s everything I never knew I always wanted. She can step on my neck in her cleats.

      • I spent way too much time last night/today watching her stories, but like literally I could watch them forever.

        Also there’s this one Umbro ad of hers that makes me feel like she could murder me and I’d like it.

    • My team actually got points on the sports portion a trivia night because I read this. (The trivia question had nothing to do with gays, just questions about USWNT and the players.) Thank you Autostraddle for keeping me informed of the activities of the Sports Lesbians!!

  1. I’m gonna be riding the high of this win for months!!! They were such an awesome team to watch. If you enjoyed the World Cup you shouldn’t stop there. Check out the NWSL teams. I just found out my state has a team and they play less than 15 minutes from my house! Let’s support them all the time not just every four years!!!

    • yes!! and the tickets are cheap…… like you can see world cup players for 10 bucks??? what???

    • so i tried to look for the nearest team and the website only seemed to have like eight teams on it? i’m super confused.

      • nooo i typed up a whole reply to this and it disappeared :((((

        shortened version: yes there are only 9 teams, it’s bc it’s a super young and underfinanced league started in 2013. two previous women’s leagues folded due to a combination of not enough financial investment and not enough support from fans.

        on the bright side, pretty much all 9 of the teams have gays AND world cup players (and in fact most of them have GAY WORLD CUP PLAYERS)

        also, it’s likely that the NWSL will expand to new cities as soon as they can, which will be largely determined by the level of fan support. a lot of the teams are connected to men’s MLS teams and share stadiums with them, so look at cities that have MLS teams for a good indication of where NWSL will likely expand.

        here’s the NWSL teams:
        1. Sky Blue FC (NJ)
        2. NC Courage (Cary, NC, in the triangle)
        3. Portland Thorns
        4. Seattle Reign
        5. Orlando Pride
        6. Houston Dash
        7. Chicago Red Stars
        8. Washington Spirit (D.C.)
        9. Utah Royals (outside Salt Lake City)

        • There’s no team near me which is a bummer, but it also means I get to pick a team for whatever completely arbitrary reasons I like! Very excited to get into the NWSL as my summer sport.

        • Hey thank you so much for explaining this! What a travesty that there aren’t more!

          • you’re so welcome!

            also i live kind of near a couple of teams but am considering becoming a Utah Royals fan (which i live nowhere near), bc of my love for Kelley O’Hara

            i rly want to purchase her jersey but don’t think i can bring myself to buy usa-branded gear

  2. I’ve been a fan of soccer since Megan Rapinoe said she wasn’t going to “the fucking white house.” So, two weeks but this is giving me so much life. Pulling up to fandom with the uhaul.

    • “Pulling up to this fandom with a Uhaul” is the turn of phrase I didn’t know I needed. A+!

      I usually think of sudden, unexpected obsessions as getting hit by the fandom truck, as in “whoops, guess I’m Good Omens roadkill now.” Either way, trucks seem to be a theme…


    i cannot express how much the GAY JOY of the USWNT and all of the teams for that matter has sustained me over the past month. 40+ out queer women in the world cup!!!! Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird!!! Kelley O’Hara getting a concussion and then iconicly coming out publicly by kissing her gf in the stands, then pouring beer all over herself at the after party!!! i cried!!! (and want to note that 4 years ago O’Hara was interviewed by AfterEllen and someone asked her how she/the team had adjusted to lesbians and the locker room, and she snorted and said “it’s uhhhhh not a problem”

    also just wanna shout out that lesbian, bi, and queer fans always have and always will hold up women’s sports, and it’s important for people to support these queer women outside the times they’re playing in the world cup. they all play on university and club teams and you can get tickets to their games for $5-30! (…. can autostraddle hire somebody to cover women’s sports? can it be me ?)

    • Drinking after a concussion? I did that once when I didn’t know I had one and it went very poorly indeed. I hope she’s okay!!

      • she seems fine actually, she’s been all over the news and other players’ insta stories for the last 72 hrs. i assume the medical staff must have cleared her, and hopefully were being overly cautious in benching her for a possible concussion

  4. ERIN!!! How dare you suggest a Carol-USWNT crossover event, without also suggesting fanfic submissions be sent directly to the Autostraddle inbox..

  5. Kelley O’Hara being an adorable beer-drinking, backwards-cap-wearing gay all over everyone’s Insta stories was giving me life today.

  6. watching the USWNT play soccer has done three things. 1)i love sports and i’m that kind of gay i guess i love soccer and wanna play on the gay team in philly 3) i have become infinitely more gay since watching these women play, which i think is a wonderful thing

  7. I really appreciate all the explainers in the comments about where to support women’s soccer year round! 💖

  8. I sincerely hope that celebrations of the USWNT’s win includes many queers listening to, and making out alongside Be Steadwell’s Gay Sex.

    • but now we have the NWSL! all the gayness multiplied by 9 teams w the possibility of easily seeing them in person! (and don’t forget college teams, also gay and cheap matches)

      • Yes, I go to Duke Women’s games and have tickets to the NWSL championship game since it is in Cary, NC. And I will go to some Carolina Courage games after August. But I get attached quickly and I want the World Cup team to be in my life forever.

  9. This World Cup has filled me with even more gay joy than the last one, which is a lot. Trying to bottle up all the glow of this victory to insulate me from having to listen to my conservative male coworkers talk about why the team shouldn’t be paid equally…I got up and left my desk until they were done today because I didn’t even want to hear it. Anyway, go gays!

  10. It’s year-round soccer time now, motherfuckers. Got the Yahoo Sports app set up on my TV and I’m subscribed to the google calendar NWSL schedule. I’m READY.

  11. The whole tournament was glorious! I started following a lot of the players on IG after their 2015 win, so it’s been lovely to watch these women get better and gayer over the years. They deserve every moment of unbridled queer happiness

  12. Watch the NWSL! Yahoo Sports! and ESPNews will start airing games this weekend. ESPN 2 will air the playoffs and final.

    For good gay content check out these teams with couples on them:
    1. North Carolina Courage (Abby Erceg & Kristen Hamilton; Debinha & Meredith Speck),
    2. Houston Dash (Rachel Daly and Kristie Mewis – Sam Mewis’s older sister),
    3. Orlando Pride (Ashlyn Harris & Ali Krieger; Toni Pressley & Marta);
    4. Chicago Red Stars (Sam Kerr & Nikki Stanton; Tierna Davidson & Alison Jahansouz);
    5. Reign FC (Jodie Taylor & Emma Kete),
    6. Utah Royals (Mandy Laddish & Becca Moros)

    Publicly out from USWNT: AD Franch (also kissed her girlfriend in the stands after the final), Megan Rapinoe (with Sue Bird), Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger (engaged), Kelley O’Hara (kissed her girlfriend), Tierna Davidson

    But y’all, if you love the USWNT gayness, the NWSL has SO MUCH MORE.

  13. I’m basically going through all the USWNT content on instagram (there’s a lot) and liking every post. Shoot all the gay content into my veinsssssssss. The pure lesbian joy is so amazing and I love it. And I also love…Megan Rapinoe.

  14. hi, just popping back in to inform everyone, if you didn’t follow Ashlyn Harris on Sunday, her insta story is now on ROUND 3 of wild gay USWNT partying

    Allie Long, Alex Morgan, and Megan Rapinoe’s insta stories are also great places to see them all bein reaaaaaal gay

  15. literally just popping into to say, i would die for kelley o’hara. confirmation that she has a gf has given me so much life.

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