The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue has celebrated the female body ever since its debut in 1964. And this year, in its 56th annual installment, the issue is making history by featuring the first out lesbian on its pages, NBC News reports.
Professional soccer star Megan Rapinoe, a member of both the United States Women’s National Team and the Seattle Reign FC, posed on the beaches of St. Lucia. The striker was joined by fellow national team members Alex Morgan, Abby Dahlkemper and Crystal Dunn for the spread.
“I think it’s really quite a bold statement by Sports Illustrated to be honest because it has been seen as sort of this magazine only for heterosexual males,” Rapinoe told the magazine. “I think so often with gay females in sports, there’s this particular stereotype about it and there’s such a narrow view of what it means to be gay and be athletic.”
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This isn’t the first time Rapinoe has made history on the pages of a magazine. Last year, Rapinoe and her girlfriend, WNBA basketball star Sue Bird, became the first same-sex couple to be featured on the cover of ESPN's Body Issue.