Talk about Pride spirit!
Justine Lindsay is making history as the first openly transgender cheerleader! The athlete will cheer for the Carolina Panthers TopCats team starting this September.
“This is a moment I will never forget, and I cannot wait to show you all this girl has to bring,” Lindsay wrote in an Instagram post announcing her new gig.
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Lindsay expressed her concern about coming out online for the first time to Buzzfeed News. She had only come out to her close family before making the post on Instagram in late March.
“I just felt like when I posted it, whatever reaction I get from everyone, it does not matter,” Lindsay said. “And then my phone started blowing up.”
Though Lindsay expected some hate comments to come through, she has not let them ruin her celebration.
“Thank you to all my haters who think I’m bringing the organization down, clearly I don’t,” Lindsay said in another Instagram post on Monday “The Carolina panthers Organization is an excellent one, one that supports all people white, black , yellow trans, straight etc. at the end of the day myself and the other 29 members @topcats made the squad fair and square.”
The Panthers echoed Lindsay’s sentiment and said they choose their cheerleaders based on their talent and skill.
“Members of the TopCats are hired based on their qualifications and abilities,” the Panthers said in a statement to NPR. “Our organization is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate because of age, race, religion, color, disability, sex, sexual orientation, or national origin. We wish all the TopCats, including Justine Lindsay, an incredible season.”