When we talk about inclusion in sport, we are not just talking about ethnicity, but also about gender. Meet Justine Lindsay, the first transgender woman to cheerleader for an NFL team.
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Although the National Football League is recognized as a rather conservative organization, the TopCats (the North Carolina Panthers cheerleading team) confirmed the hiring of Justine Lindsay this weekend.
The 29-year-old becomes the first openly transgender cheerleader in NFL history.
Lindsay revealed to her teammates and the rest of the world that she is transgender in the Instagram post where she announces at the same time that she is joining the ranks of the TopCats. Only his family members knew about it.
“The cat is out of its bag! You have before your eyes the newest member of the TopCats, as the first openly trans woman. […] I can’t wait to show you what I have to offer,” she said on Instagram.
TopCats manager Chandalae Lanouette says Justine Lindsay told the audition that she was a trans person, but it was her talent and not her story that earned her a spot on the team.
It should also be remembered that the men recently entered the world of cheerleading in the NFL as Quinton Perón and Napoleon Jinnies managed to carve out a position with the Los Angeles Rams cheerleading team in 2018. They have elsewhere were the first men to make a performance at the Superbowl championship the same year.
It’s a small step for man, but a giant leap for the LGBTQ+ community and inclusion.
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