Canadian football player Quinn is “proud” and “optimistic for change” after becoming the first openly trans athlete to compete at Olympics.
On Wednesday (21 July), Canada drew 1-1 with Japan in the opening women’s football match at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.
The game marked the first Olympic event in history involving an openly trans athlete. Quinn, a midfielder for OL Reign and the Canada women’s national team, came out as trans last year.
Posting a photo of themselves during the game to Instagram, they wrote: “First openly trans Olympian to compete. I don’t know how to feel.
“I feel proud seeing ‘Quinn’ up on the lineup and on my accreditation.
“I feel sad knowing there were Olympians before me unable to live their truth because of the world.
“I feel optimistic for change. Change in legislature. Changes in rules, structures, and mindsets.
“Mostly, I feel aware of the realities. Trans girls being banned from sports. Trans women facing discrimination and bias while trying to pursue their Olympic dreams. The fight isn’t close to over… and I’ll celebrate when we’re all here.”
Earlier this year, during Pride month, Quinn shared a photo praising their team’s acceptance and celebration of their trans identity.
The photo showed them clutching a football shirt with their name and a rainbow number, as well as an armband in the colours of the trans Pride flag.
They said: “This team is hard to put into words! They have embraced change and turned into uncomfortable conversations and I love them for it.
“Taking home this armband because I never thought I’d see this day!”
Quinn came out as transgender via Instagram last year
Quinn came out as transgender last year, and announced that they use them/ them pronouns.
They wrote on Instagram at the time: “Coming out is HARD (and kinda bs). I know for me it’s something I’ll be doing over again for the rest of my life.
“As I’ve lived as an openly trans person with the people I love most for many years, I did always wonder when I’d come out publicly.”
They explained that they “wanted to encapsulate the feelings I had towards my trans identity in one post but that’s really not why anyone is on here, including myself”.
Instead, they offered a few tips for cisgender people to become better trans allies, adding: “It’s a process, and i know it won’t be perfect, but if I can encourage you to start then it’s something.”
They suggested that cis folk put their pronouns in their bios, “follow and listen to” trans and non-binary voices, practice using gender-neutral pronouns in a mirror, vote and try to catch themselves when making assumptions about gender.
The Canadian footballer added: “I want to be visible to queer folks who don’t see people like them on their feed. I know it saved my life years ago.”