Another woke milestone was announced for members of the transgender community, and this time the controversial hire involved the National Football League.
While the Carolina Panthers joined other sports teams and major corporations in signaling their virtue with rainbow versions over their well-known logos for the month of June, the NFL franchise took their display of “pride” to a new level with the hiring of the first openly transgender cheerleader. Justine Simone Lindsay, 29, is a male who identifies as a woman and made that clear on his application for his spot on the Panthers TopCats cheerleading squad.
Lindsay had publicly declared joining the squad on Instagram at the end of March writing in part, “This is a moment I will never forget and I cannot wait to show you all what this girl has to bring.”
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“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 cheerleader wrote, thanking “family and friends” for their “love and support.”
The squad’s director Chandalae Lanouette confirmed the addition to Buzzfeed and noted the hire wasn’t about making history. She told the outlet, “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 that spot.”
Lindsay, who claimed even a best friend didn’t know about being transgender, said, “I just felt like when I posted it, whatever reaction I get from everyone, it does not matter. And then my phone started blowing up.”
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 11, 2020
Lindsay’s hire is not the first controversial hire of a transgender person in a role perceived to be geared toward marketing to a heterosexual male audience. In 2020 Sports Illustrated included a transgender model in their swimsuit issue for the first time, raising eyebrows and turning their prime consumers away.
As The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh said when discussing his new documentary film “What is a Woman?” where he interviewed proponents of gender ideology and gender reassignment surgeries, “And one thing that, you know, that comes out in the film is that a lot of this stuff on the surface, it’s hilarious because it’s so absurd, but then you realize that this gender ideology is utterly pervasive, and it’s all over the country.”
— NFL (@NFL) June 1, 2022
As Buzzfeed was told by Sam Ames from the Trevor Project, a suicide-prevention organization for LGBTQ youth, “Our research shows that LGBTQ youth report that seeing LGBTQ representation by celebrities and athletes made them feel good about being LGBTQ. Especially in a place like the NFL, which occupies such a powerful position in our culture, the story of a transgender cheerleader can inspire so much more than victory. She can give young people watching a dream to hold on to and a future to hold out for.”
What Ames did not express was whether validation was beneficial considering the statistics that have shown transitioned individuals are the largest group at risk for suicide after undergoing elective surgery and, as one interviewee in Walsh’s documentary explained, the health risks of such a change are already life-threatening.
“I’m happy because I was able to break down that door and tell people, ‘Hey, we are not just sexual beings,” Lindsay said of the announcement. “We are actual human beings who want to better ourselves.’ I felt like, why not tell the world, ‘Hey, listen, this is a great accomplishment.'”
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