Justine Lindsay appears in the official listing images. (Credit: Krista Jasso/Carolina Panthers)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A Carolina Panthers cheerleader has made history.
Justine Lindsay announced that she is joining the Panthers’ TopCats cheerleading squad, apparently making her the first openly transgender cheerleader. Lindsay initially posted about her achievement in March.
She told BuzzFeed News on Saturday that she was excited to break down barriers.
“I’m happy because I was able to break down that door and say to people, ‘Hey, we’re not just sexual beings. We’re real human beings who want to improve ourselves.’ I felt like, why not tell the world? ‘Hey, listen , this is a great achievement,'” he told the outlet.
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Once the news hit social media, Lindsay applauded some of the negative feedback she received in an Instagram post.
“Thank you to all my haters who think I’m bringing the organization down, clearly I’m not. The carolina panthers organization is a great one, one that supports all people who are white, black, yellow trans, straight, etc. in the end .of the day me and the other 29 members @topcats make the squad fair and square,” he wrote.
“So, I’m paving the way for those below me who are afraid to take that step because it’s not easy to do when you have ignorant people making comments that didn’t go through the process like the rest of us. I will continue to be that pioneer. I will continue to inspire.” and helping my beautiful African American trans sisters to my last breath. So please mind your manners and understand that if you can’t say anything nice, keep it to yourself.”
Charlotte Lanouette, Carolina’s team manager, told BuzzFeed News that it was Lindsay’s talent that landed her on the team.
“My goal is to create a team of people who are absolute fire on the pitch but are amazing 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 place.” Lanouette said.
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