The NFL’s first openly transgender cheerleader has joined the squad, a “big” occasion she hopes will inspire others both on and off the field.
Justine Lindsay, 29, said she’s proud to “break down that door” for future trans athletes by joining the Carolina Panthers’ TopCats cheerleading squad in an interview Saturday.
She says In A statement, “This is big.” “I think more people need to see this. It’s not because I want recognition. It’s just to shed light on what’s going on in the world .”
Lindsay came out as trans for the first time when she revealed her Panthers signing on Instagram in March.
Lindsay’s post said, “Cats out the bag.” “I would like to thank the beautiful and talented dancers who supported me along the way … This is a moment I will never forget and I cannot wait to show you all what this girl has to bring .”
She admitted that she was frightened to come out as trans online after keeping her gender identity hidden from everyone, including her best friend, whom she considers a sister.
“I was scared,” she said of the post to the outlet. “There’s just some things you can’t post.”
“I just felt like when I posted it, whatever reaction I get from, everyone, it doesn’t matter,” Lindsay concluded. “And then my phone started blowing up.”
Despite the fact that Lindsay stated on her application that she was transgender, TopCats director Chandalae Lanouette said it was her ability as a cheerleader that landed her on the team.
“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 told.
Lindsay watched a reality show about the Dallas Cowboys cheerleading squad while preparing for her tryout and noticed how their appearance played a big role in the selection process.
Lindsay, on the other hand, was relieved to find that her coach could keep her bald head, which she believes will inspire “other young ladies who may be nervous about their bald appearance.”
Lindsay will represent the Panthers at fundraisers and business conferences in addition to flaunting her thing on the field, according to report.
“Who’s with me?” Lindsay captioned another photo of herself wearing Panthers clothing in early April.
She wrote in the post, “I’m ready to give it all I’ve got.”
Lindsay fought back against “negative energy” in a fresh post published early Monday.
She stated, “Understand that we are all [God’s] children, that he is an awesome God from sun up to sun down.” “I live through him. Negative hate stay away.”
According to BuzzFeed News, Lindsay is believed to be the first trans person employed as an NFL cheerleader, despite the fact that the league does not keep official records pertaining to gender identification.
According to the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention group for LGBTQ adolescents, just one out of every three people knows someone who is transgender.
“Our research shows that LGBTQ youth report that seeing LGBTQ representation by celebrities and athletes made them feel good about being LGBTQ,” the group’s director of advocacy and government affairs, Sam Ames, told BuzzFeed.
“Especially in a place like the NFL, which occupies such a powerful position in our culture, the story of a transgender cheerleader can inspire so much more than victory. She can give young people watching a dream to hold on to and a future to hold out for.”