Who is NFL cheerleader Justine Lindsay?

Who is Justine Lindsay? Meet NFL’s first transgender cheerleader

A few months ago, Justine Lindsay stole the show as the NFL's first transgender cheerleader. In March, Lindsay went on Instagram to post about working with the Carolina Panthers.

However, the news gained traction months later in June, weeks before the season began. Many fans were supportive, sharing some encouraging words with Lindsay about the same.

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As per the Carolina Panthers TopCats director, Lindsay was only hired for her talent and for no other reason. The cheerleader was immensly grateful for the opportunity, aware of how big this was:

"Cat's out the bag 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," Lindsay wrote.

She thanked her coach, labeling this as a moment she will never forget.

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People are ready to support Justine Lindsay

While Justine Lindsay was grateful for the opportunity, she also made it a point to address her haters.

"Thank you to all my haters who think I’m bringing the organization down, clearly I don’t. The Carolina Panthers organization is an excellent one, one that supports all people white, black , yellow trans, straight etcetera."

The love, however, has been overwhelming. Her Instagram is filled with encouraging messages. People have consistently supported Justine Lindsay, despite a few haters thinking her association with the team is negative.

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Many congratulated her, proud of the team for taking such a big step.


How did Lindsay become a cheerleader?

Justine Lindsay, who transitioned at 17, has been dancing since she was five or six. In an interview with QCity Metro, Lindsay revealed that all she wanted to do was dance, always receiving support from her parents.

The Panthers audition, however, was mostly a coincidence. While she was scared about the audition, her mother encouraged her:

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"She was like, 'What? You’re scared for what? You know how to dance so just go out there and do your thing. Then if you don’t make it, just try it again.'"

A few months later, Justine Lindsay was on the team.

They had to submit audition videos, with 600 people applying. Apparently, only 180 made it to the semi-finals and 80 of them made it to the final.

She was also at Johnson C. Smith as an undergrad and on JCSU's pep squad. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in communications from North Carolina State University and earned an associate's degree from The Art Institute of Charlotte.

Lindsay also went to the North Carolina Dance Theater, where she learned ballet, modern jazz and contemporary jazz. She even studied under Debbie Allen in California, learning hip-hop, Flamenco, salsa and African dance.

Apart from the Panthers, the Los Angeles Rams have hired openly gay male cheerleaders in 2018. This year, there were five gay cheerleaders at the Super Bowl.

As the years go by, NFL teams are seemingly opening up to the LGBTQ+ community.

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Edited by
Nicolaas Ackermann
 
 
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