Justine Lindsay Opens Up On Becoming The NFL's Openly Trans Cheerleader
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Featured Image Credit: @jus_lindsay_/Instagram
Justine Lindsay has opened up abut becoming the NFL's first openly transgender cheerleader.
The 29-year-old recently announced that she has joined the Carolina Panthers' Top Cats team and in a post on Instagram, Lindsay thanked the squad for taking a chance on her, saying it is a 'moment she will never forget'.
Sharing a snap of her standing on the pitch, Lindsay said: "Cats Out the Bag you are looking at the newest member of the Carolina Panthers TopCats Cheerleader’s @topcats as the first Transgender female.
"I would like to thank the beautiful and talented dancers who supported me along the way alumni TopCats family and friends for your love and support.
"I would not have gotten to this moment in my life if it wasn’t for the support.
"Also to my beautiful coach @chandalaelanouette you are a special being that I truly cherish thank you taking that leap of faith on me to be apart of your legacy and so many others.
"This is a moment I will never forget and I cannot wait to show you all what this girl has to bring. Thank you @topcats a dream come true."
In an interview with Buzzfeed, Lindsay admitted that she was 'scared' about sharing the post to social media.
She told the outlet that she wasn't sure what kind of reaction the news would get, but decided that she had to do it.
"I was so scared," she said. "There’s just some things you can’t post. I just felt like when I posted it, whatever reaction I get from everyone, it does not matter."
She added: "I’m happy because I was able to break down that door and tell people, 'Hey, we are not just sexual beings, we are actual human beings who want to better ourselves'.
"I felt like, Why not tell the world: 'Hey, listen, this is a great accomplishment'."
Lindsay said she feels like this is an important moment for black trans women around the world, saying: "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."
Chandalae Lanouette is the director of the Top Cats squad, and while she noted on her files that Lindsay was trans, she said it was her talent that shone through and led to her being picked for the team.
She said: "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."
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