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Carolina Panthers add first transgender member to Cheer Squad


The Carolina Panthers have announced the addition of their first NFL transgender cheerleader.

Justine Simone Lindsay was part of the Panthers’ TopCats cheerleading team, according to the new team member’s Instagram post.

“Cats Out the Bag you’re watching @topcats newest member of the Carolina Panthers TopCats Cheerleader as the first transgender woman,” Lindsay wrote on Instagram. “I want to thank the beautiful and talented dancers who have supported me along the way, the family and friends of former TopCats for your love and support.”

The TopCats didn’t announce Lindsay, 29, was transgender, but according to The Spun, the team knew Lindsay was transgender from the start.

“My goal is to create a team of individuals who are absolute fire on the pitch but who are incredible human beings in the locker room, good friends, good people, and at the end of the day you have to first walk through the door to get to this place,” Chandalae Lanouette, director of TopCats, told Buzzfeed News.

Several NFL cheer squads have hired male members, but Lindsay appears to be the NFL’s first openly trans cheerleader.

Lindsay did not post to his followers that he tried out for the team beforehand.

“I was so scared,” Lindsay told BuzzFeed. “There are just some things you can’t post.”

“I’m happy because I got to kick down that door and tell people, hey, we’re not just sexual beings,” Lindsay concluded. “We are real human beings who want to improve ourselves. I felt like saying why not tell the world – hey listen, this is a great accomplishment.

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