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First transgender woman becomes NFL cheerleader
Acceptance of diversity takes another step forward. For the first time in its history, the NFL will welcome a transgender woman into its ranks.

Justine Lindsay, 29, joins the TopCats, the Carolina PanthersNFL cheerleading squad.

The cheerleader is no stranger to opening some doors that were closed until now.

“I think more people need to see this. It’s not because I want recognition. It’s just to shine a light on what’s going on in the world,” the woman who joined the Panthers last March tells BuzzFeed.

On Instagram, Justine Lindsay saluted in passing those who made this new opportunity possible.

“I would like to thank the beautiful and talented dancers who have supported me along the way… This is a moment I will never forget and I can’t wait to show you all what this girl has to offer.”

Justine Lindsay told the New York Post that she was terrified to come out as trans online. She who had kept her true gender identity a secret, even from her best friend, whom she considers a sister.

“I was so scared. I just felt like when I posted it, whatever reaction I would get from, everyone, it didn’t matter. And then my phone started blowing up.”

The new NFL season begins on September 8. Justine Lindsay will make her debut with the Carolina Panthers in their inaugural game on September 11.

The sports world is increasingly making room for transgender women. In July 2020, model Valentina Sampaio became the first transgender woman to pose for the Swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated magazine. In June 2021, Laurel Hubbard of New Zealand became the first transgender athlete to compete in the Olympics, and Canadian soccer player Quinn of the Canadian soccer team became the first-ever openly transgender woman to win an Olympic medal, a gold medal.

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