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According to an article on The Daily Caller the hiring of Justine Lindsay, 29, as a cheerleader will give the Carolina Panthers the distinction of having what many believe is the NFL’s first openly transgender cheerleader. Lindsay will join the Panthers’ cheerleading team, the Topcats.

An Instagram post from Lindsay asserted: “Cats Out the Bag you are looking at the newest member of the Carolina Panthers TopCats Cheerleader’s as the first Transgender female.” Along with the text was a “smiling picture of Lindsay in the new uniform.”

Linday shared the motivating ideology and sense of place in history, fighting ignorance and supporting those who are scared. The Daily Caller wrote: “In a separate post, Lindsay said “so what if I’m [transgender], so what I’m paving the way for those under me who are scared and afraid to take that step because it is not easy to do when you have ignorant people making comments that didn’t go through the process like the rest of us.”

Lindsay’s self-image is that of a pioneer. “I will continue to be that pioneer I will continue to inspire and help my African American beautiful trans sisters until my last breath,” Lindsay continued. “So please mind your manners and understand that if you can’t say anything nice please keep it to yourself.”

Although paving the way for others and making certain the transgender status is publicized, Lindsay is not seeking recognition. According to Buzzfeed, Lindsay added “the career move “is big” because “more people need to see this. It’s not because I want recognition. It’s just to shed light on what’s going on in the world.” Lindsay did not specify what aspect of what was going on in the world is receiving the shed light.

According to Buzzfeed News, “Topcats’ director, Chandalae Lanouette, said hiring Lindsay was not contingent on Lindsay’s gender identity.” Lanouette elaborated. “My goal is to create a team of individuals that are absolute fire on the field but are incredible human beings in the locker room, good friends, good people, and at the end of the day, you have to walk through the door first to get to that spot.” Lanouette emphasized it was Lindsay’s talent that landed Lindsay the spot. Lanouette’s criteria for selection for the Topcats which includes being “incredible human beings in the locker room” might have challenging aspects.

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