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Justine Lindsay is the primary openly trans cheerleader within the NFL : NPR

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Justine Lindsay announced that she made the Carolina Panthers TopCats cheerleading squad at the top of March.

Chanelle Smith-Walker/Carolina Panthers

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Chanelle Smith-Walker/Carolina Panthers

Justine Lindsay announced that she made the Carolina Panthers TopCats cheerleading squad at the top of March.

Chanelle Smith-Walker/Carolina Panthers

The NFL season doesn’t start until September, but Justine Lindsay is making history within the off-season because the league’s first openly transgender cheerleader.

Lindsay, 29, announced that she had made the Carolina Panthers TopCats team earlier this 12 months in an Instagram post.

“Cats Out the Bag you’re looking at the latest member of the Carolina Panthers TopCats Cheerleader’s @topcats as the primary Transgender female,” Lindsay wrote. “I would really like to thank the gorgeous and talented dancers who supported me along the best way … It is a moment I’ll always remember and I cannot wait to point out you all what this girl has to bring. Thanks @topcats a dream come true.”

Lindsay told BuzzFeed News that she was “so scared” to share the Instagram post during which she publicly got here out.

“I just felt like after I posted it, whatever response I get from everyone, it doesn’t matter,” Lindsay told BuzzFeed. “After which my phone began blowing up.”

Fans have sent messages of support to Lindsay on her Instagram posts, including telling her to dam out any messages of hate or those questioning her spot on the squad.

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TopCats director Chandalae Lanouette and the Panthers have each said Lindsay’s skills are what secured her spot on the team.

“Members of the TopCats are hired based on their qualifications and talents,” the Panthers said in an announcement to NPR. “Our organization is an equal opportunity employer and doesn’t discriminate due to age, race, religion, color, disability, sex, sexual orientation, or national origin. We wish all of the TopCats, including Justine Lindsay, an incredible season.”

Justine Lindsay said she goes to proceed “paving the best way for those under me who’re scared and afraid to take that step.”

Chanelle Smith-Walker/Carolina Panthers

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Chanelle Smith-Walker/Carolina Panthers

Justine Lindsay said she goes to proceed “paving the best way for those under me who’re scared and afraid to take that step.”

Chanelle Smith-Walker/Carolina Panthers

Lindsay said she knows that her making the team as a Black trans woman is a giant deal and is already speaking out against those that are attempting to bring her down.

“Thanks to all my haters who think I’m bringing the organization down, clearly I do not,” Lindsay said in an Instagram post on Monday. “The carolina panthers Organization is a wonderful one, one which supports all people white, black , yellow trans, straight etc. at the top of the day myself and the opposite 29 members @topcats made the squad fair and square.”

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Lindsay acknowledged that it’s not all the time easy, but that she goes to proceed “paving the best way for those under me who’re scared and afraid to take that step.”

“I’ll proceed to encourage and help my African American beautiful trans sisters until my last breath.”

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