Justine Lindsay makes history as the NFL's first openly Trans cheerleader

The Carolina Panthers recently hired Justine Lindsay making her the first openly Trans cheerleader in the NFL.

Trans cheerleader Justine Lindsay posing in a split image.
Image: Instagram via Justine Lindsay

Justine Lindsay is breaking down barriers in the NFL as the first openly Trans cheerleader. She made the TopCats cheer team for the Carolina Panthers in March this year but recently shared her excitement and gratefulness in an Instagram post.

In addition to that, the director of the TopCats cheer team Chandalae Lanouette shared the organisation’s focus on diversity and inclusion in an interview with BuzzFeed News.

“My goal is to create a team of individuals that are absolute fire on the field but are incredible human beings in the locker room, good friends, good people, and at the end of the day, you have to walk through the door first to get to that spot,” Lanouette said.

This accomplishment puts Lindsay in a community of other successful LGBTQ+ athletes who continue to share their stories and spread awareness. Last month, Jake Daniels became the UK’s only openly gay active male professional footballer.

Unfortunately, Lindsay has already addressed the hate she has received after earning her spot on the cheer squad.

“Thank you to all my haters who think I’m bringing the organization down, clearly I don’t. The carolina panthers Organization is an excellent one, one that supports all people white, black, yellow trans, straight etc. at the end of the day myself and the other 29 members @topcats made the squad fair and square,” she wrote in an Instagram post.

Other Trans athletes are receiving similar hate comments despite passing specific requirements to participate in competitions. Lia Thomas opened up in an interview about the hate she has received following a historic win during an NCAA swim meet.

Additionally, Trans athletes will soon be impacted by stricter legislation that some states are proposing. On June 1, Ohio’s House of Representatives passed a bill with anti-trans legislation that will require a genital exam for athletes who are ‘suspected of being Trans females.’

Despite the discrimination against Trans athletes, it is important to celebrate the progress and accomplishments that are being made by LGBTQ+ community members like Lindsay.

“Dreams are reality. Dreams can manifest by putting in the work. Dreams can be accomplished with a focused mind body and spirit. This is my reality this is my story. Own it believe in it and everything will fall into place,” she said.

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