Justine Lindsay is breaking barriers as the first openly transgender woman on an NFL cheerleading squad.
The 29-year-old made an announcement via Instagram on March 30 that she is a member of the Carolina Panthers’ TopCats Cheerleaders and it is a “dream come true.”
According to an interview with BuzzFeed News, Lindsay's post not only revealed she was trans to her new teammates but also to people she mixes with regularly. The only people in Lindsay’s life who knew her true colors were her family.
“Cats Out the Bag you are looking at the newest member of the Carolina Panthers TopCats Cheerleader’s @topcats as the first Transgender female," the caption starts under a picture of Lindsay happily posing on the Panthers' field.
“I was so scared,” Lindsay said in the interview. “There are just some things you can’t post.”
Lindsay also thanks her new cheer coach Chandalae Lanouette for taking a "leap of faith" in recruiting her to the squad. According to Lanouette, Lindsay had noted she is trans on the application, but her incredible talent was what gave her a spot on the team.
On June 6, Linsday posted another Instagram reflecting on the LGBTQ+ community and how the Carolina Panthers' organization is very inclusive to all.
"The Carolina Panthers' organization is an excellent one," she said. "One that supports all people white, black, yellow, trans, straight, etc."
In the post, she added, "I will continue to be that pioneer. I will continue to inspire and help my African American beautiful trans sisters until my last breath.