Megan Rapinoe outed her lesbian twin sister to their parents after they reacted badly to her own coming out

Megan and Rachael Rapinoe

Rachael Rapinoe, twin sister of football star and lesbian icon Megan Rapinoe, has revealed their joint coming out story.

While Megan Rapinoe and her football career are recognised around the world, her lesser-known and also gay twin sister Rachael enjoyed her own elite football player.

In an interview with the Five Rings To Rule Them All podcast, hosted by OutSports co-founder Cyd Zeigler, Rachael said that both she and her fraternal twin sister Megan began to discover their sexuality while attending college at the University of Portland.

Growing up in a rural, religious part of California, Rachael said she and Megan were “never told that women dated women and men dated men, and that some women felt like men and vice versa”.

Rachael said: “I went to college a semester earlier than Megan because she was at the under-19 World Cup with the US team, so she came in the spring.

“I immediately started dating someone of the same sex, and at that time I had no idea that I was attracted to women but I knew that I had always felt different, and I knew that Meg probably felt the same way.

“We had never spoken about it but we had that kind of twinship, so I knew Meg had always felt a little bit different.

“So I started dating someone and we ended up dating on and off for that whole year. Of course, we didn’t call ourselves girlfriends, we were just best friends, right? But we slept together every night.”

Rachael and Megan Rapinoe came out to each other on the same day.

Around a year later Rachael and her “best friend” broke up, which led to her decision to come out to Megan.

“I was really sad and she knew something was going on,” she said. “So I told Megan I’d been going through a breakup and I was dating this girl, but I still would not consider myself gay or bisexual or anything. I just, you know, fell in love with a person.

“Meg then told me that she was attracted to women and that she thought she was gay. Once she came out to me that spring semester of 2005, once we had talked about it, Meg was like ‘this is who I am’.

“She’s always been very steadfast in that and I think she just felt relieved that she had a place in the world.”

Rachael said she struggled more than Megan with owning her sexuality because of guilt from their religious upbringing.

Rachael Rapinoe is grateful to her twin sister for outing her.

Shortly after the twins came out to each other, their mother came to visit them at college.

“I was heartbroken, I was going through my first real breakup, and so my mom came up to Portland because she knew something was going on.

“I was at class, and her and Megan got to talking, and Megan came out to her. She didn’t take it very well, she was very upset, and Meg’s second reaction after coming out was: ‘Well Rachael’s gay too!’

“And that’s basically how I came out. Which was fine. I didn’t care, because I probably wouldn’t have said anything for a very long time, so you know, I should thank Megan for blasting me like that.

“That was her defence mechanism, to tell my mom and dad that I was gay too. So that’s my coming out story, and Megan’s.”

Rachael Rapinoe’s sports career came to an end in 2012, and she has since started a company called Mendi, which provides CBD products to help athletes recover.