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First ever transgender cheerleader added to Carolina Panthers squad

First ever transgender cheerleader added to Carolina Panthers squad

The Carolina Panthers will debut the first-ever openly transgender NFL cheerleader for its TopCats team this upcoming football season.

What are the details?

Justine Lindsay, 29, said that she is the NFL's very first transgender cheerleader — a "big" moment that she said made her proud to "break down that door."

“This is big,” she told BuzzFeed News during a recent interview. “I think 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.”

In March, Lindsay took to Instagram where she made the announcement.

"Cats Out the Bag," she wrote at the time. "You are looking at the newest member of the Carolina Panthers TopCats Cheerleader’s @topcats as the first Transgender female."

"I would like to thank the beautiful and talented dancers who supported me along the way alumni TopCats family and friends for your love and support," she continued. "I would not have gotten to this moment in my life if it wasn’t for the support. Also to my beautiful coach @chandalaelanouette you are a special being that I truly cherish thank you taking that leap of faith on me to be apart of your legacy and so many others. This is a moment I will never forget and I cannot wait to show you all what this girl has to bring. Thank you @topcats a dream come true."

Lindsay explained that while she initially worried that her announcement would bring negative and unwanted attention, social media rallied around her and offered their support.

What else is there to know about this?

Chandalae Lanouette, director for the TopCats team, said that Lindsay's athletic prowess earned her a coveted spot on the Panthers' cheerleading squad.

“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 told BuzzFeed in an interview.

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Sarah Taylor

Sarah Taylor

Sarah is a former staff writer for TheBlaze, and a former managing editor and producer at TMZ. She resides in Delaware with her family. You can reach her via Twitter at @thesarahdtaylor.