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Megan Rapinoe stunned Anderson Cooper when she said she only realized she was gay in college


Megan Rapinoe

Soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe is having a gay ol’ time celebrating her team’s victory at the Women’s World Cup.

On the evening before the co-captain of the U.S. Women’s soccer team brought downtown New York City to a standstill, as thousand of fans cheered the players as they marched on a confetti-drenched Broadway, the top scorer at the tournament sat down with Anderson Cooper for a headline-generating 30-minute-long interview.

In the episode of “AC360? that aired Tuesday, 34-year-old Rapinoe had some tough words for Donald Trump on his divisiveness (“You need to be better for everyone!”); said she “definitely” has her eyes on the 2020 Japan Olympic Games; discussed her fight for equal pay for women in sports; and also talked about kneeling during the National Anthem in 2016.

But it was when she talked about her personal life — coming out as a lesbian in college — that Rapinoe disarmed the top-billing CNN star.

When Cooper asked Rapinoe about her life as a lesbian, her joyful answers turned the prime-time interview into a friendly “kiki,” leaving the veteran journalist on the verge of uncontrollable laughter.

It started when the openly gay host asked Rapinoe if her coming out to her friends and family had been a difficult process.

“It wasn’t difficult for me in the moment," she said. “I didn’t realize [I was gay] until I got to college. And as soon as I realized it, looking back at my teenage years,” she said looking incredulous at her own story.

A visibly surprised Cooper interrupted her and asked, “Oh, really? You didn’t realize it until you were a teenager? Wow! Wow!” as he starts laughing.

“I knew when I was 6,” he said. "How could you not know as a teenager?”

“I know, I know... It’s just so embarrassing because I’m just very gay but," Rapinoe continued. “I don’t know how it happened, but as soon as it clicked, I was like... ‘Ah! she has arrived. She’s here. Her life is beginning,’” she said.

“Was it, like... Oh, I get it now?,” Cooper, still trying to control his laughter, asked.

“Yes! I was, like,'why didn’t anyone tell me?' I was actually upset," she said jokingly. “Someone should’ve told me.”

A still incredulous Cooper asked, “But you knew about gay people?”

“Yes, totally! I just... I couldn’t see the forest through the trees.”

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The usually well-put-together news host seemed to struggle to transition to his next segment.

“Funniest thing I’ve heard,” Cooper said. "Where do I want to go after that? That caught me by surprise.”