Soccer star and LGBTQ+ activist Megan Rapinoe recently gave a powerful speech at Time’s Women of the Year Gala, dedicating the award to the transgender community.
Two-time World Cup winner with the U.S. women’s national soccer team Megan Rapinoe was named one of Time’s 12 Women of the Year.
In receving the honor, Rapinoe was asked to give a toast during the gala.
In her address, Rapinoe highlighted the need to recognize the gift that trans people have given us as a society.
‘I am only here because of them’ Megan says
“We all know what’s going on in our country with the attempted erasure of trans people,” Megan says in her toast.
Rapinoe condemned the “attempted genocide” and “erasure” of trans people happening in state legislatures across the United States.
“I am only here because of them,” she continued, emphasizing that she owes her own position and success to the efforts of the trans community.
The soccer star urged people to take a different perspective when considering trans issues.
She then encouraged them to consider the ways in which trans people have expanded our understandings as people.
“Look at what trans people have given us,” she said, adding that trans people offer us a full view of what it means to be human in the world.
Rapinoe went on to explain that trans people have taught us to embrace our whole selves and reject societal pressures to shrink ourselves.
“As so many women are asked to shrink themselves to be successful, trans people have taught us to boldly embrace the ‘whole ass crazy human being’ we all are,” she said.
On ‘being a woman’
The activist also went onto address the broader challenges and limitations facing all women.
Rapinoe recognized that throughout history, women have faced challenges and pressures to “shrink, soften, and disappear”.
She stated, “We have been required to hold so much all of the time. Either we carry the world on our back or we get left behind.
“White women have left Black women—and everyone else—behind. Straight women leave queer women behind.
“Let’s not be those kinds of people,” Megan continued. “Being a woman: make it expansive.
“Don’t ever leave anybody behind. … Let’s bring everyone in and figure the rest out from there,” she concluded.
Watch Megan Rapinoe’s toast below
Rapinoe has been a longtime advocate for women and LGBTQ+ rights. She has not only fought for trans equality in sports and abortion rights, but was also part of the U.S. Women’s National Team’s historic battle for equal pay.
Last year, she was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Joe Biden.
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