Justine Lindsay is de eerste openlijk trans-cheerleader in de NFL

Justine Lindsay is de eerste openlijk trans-cheerleader in de NFL

Justine Lindsay announced that she was part of the Carolina Panthers TopCats cheerleading squad in late March.

Chanelle Smith-Walker/Carolina Panthers

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Chanelle Smith-Walker/Carolina Panthers

Justine Lindsay announced that she was part of the Carolina Panthers TopCats cheerleading squad in late March.

Chanelle Smith-Walker/Carolina Panthers

The NFL season doesn’t start until September, but Justine Lindsay is making off-season history as the league’s first openly transgender cheerleader.

Lindsay, 29, announced that she was part of the Carolina Panthers TopCats team earlier this year in an Instagram post.

“Cats Out the Bag you’re looking at the newest @topcats member of the Carolina Panthers TopCats Cheerleader as the first transgender woman,” Lindsay wrote. “I would like to thank the beautiful and talented dancers who have supported me along the way… This is a moment I will never forget and I can’t wait to show you all this girl has to bring. Thank you @topcats a dream come true .”

Lindsay told BuzzFeed News that she was “so scared” to share the Instagram post where she came out publicly.

“I felt like when I posted it, whatever reaction I get from everyone doesn’t matter,” Lindsay told BuzzFeed. “And then my phone started to explode.”

Fans sent messages of support to Lindsay on her Instagram posts, including telling her to block any hateful messages or those questioning her place on the team.

TopCats director Chandalae Lanouette and the Panthers said Lindsay’s skills are what secured her spot on the team.

“TopCats members are hired based on their qualifications and skills,” the Panthers said in a statement to NPR. “Our organization is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, color, disability, gender, sexual orientation or national origin. We wish all TopCats, including Justine Lindsay, an amazing season.”

Justine Lindsay said she will continue to “pave the way for those below me who are scared and afraid to take this step”.

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