Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird have just made history as the first same-sex couple to feature in ESPN’s illustrious annual Body Issue.
Every year the issue shows off the hard work of all kinds of athletes with a nude photo shoot.
Rapinoe, 32, – a soccer player – and Bird, 37, – a basketball player – bared all together to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Body Issue.
The Seattle based couple have been together since 2016, and recently moved in together.
They decided to do the photo shoot to raise the visibility of same-sex couples, but they don’t want to be just known as the ‘gay couple’.
‘I think neither of us really wants to just do things and be like, “We’re the gay couple”,’ Rapinoe told ESPN.
‘But to have this really unique vehicle to actually do that, to celebrate who we are in our sport, but also the fact that we’ll be the first gay couple, is pretty special.
‘It’s pretty amazing to think about, especially in the times we’re in. Just think of how far we’ve come, but also the current climate and defiance in the face of that.
‘Not only are we female athletes, but we’re dating as well. It’s kind of badass.’
— Sue Bird (@S10Bird) June 25, 2018
Visibility is so important
Rapinoe believed it was important that more people ‘come out’.
‘I think it’s important to do these things first. It’s important for people to come out. Visibility is important. It’s important for there to be a first one on the cover (of the Body Issue), or whatever. Just in terms of the culture and society, someone has to do it.’
Other LGBTI athletes to feature in this year’s Body Issue included figure skater, Adam Rippon.
This year’s issue comes out on 29 June.
ESPN also released a digital archive of their Body Issue, featuring never-before-seen photos.