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Trans supermodel Lea T makes history as Rio 2016 opening ceremony participant

Joseph McCormick August 7, 2016

Out trans model Lea T made history on Friday night at the opening of the Rio 2016 Olympics as she literally pedalled towrads LGBT+ visibility.

The famed supermodel, full name Leandra Medeiros Cerezo, cycled out in Rio with the Brazilian athletes behind her.

It had previously been expected that she would join fellow supermodel Gisele in a tribute to ‘The Girl from Ipanema’, but her role in the opening was smaller than anticipated.

OLY-2016-RIO-OPENING-DELEGATION

This aside, she still made history as the first out trans woman to hold a role in an Olympic opening ceremony.

“We are all human beings and we are part of society. My role at the ceremony will help send this message, ” Cerezo told BBC Brazil before the ceremony.

“At this time, in which Rio de Janeiro and Brazil will be presented to the world, it’s essential that diversity is present. Brazil is a vast country and all its diversity should be somehow represented in this event.”

Of the revelation in January that trans athletes would be allowed to compete without undergoing gender surgery, the model added: “[The revisions are] undoubtedly a step forward, but unfortunately there seems no transgender athletes who have qualified for this year’s Games. Nevertheless, it is a hope for the community and a way of inclusion.”

Prior to the opening ceremony, one of the torchbearers in the Olympic relay was trans woman Laerte Countinho, who was believed to be the only trans person in the relay.

A gay couple also sweetly stopped amid the torch relay to have a cheeky little kiss.

The US women’s soccer team has already been the subject of homophobic chants from the stands, even though the Olympics only began this week.

Out gay Olympian Amini Fonua made a stand at the Rio 2016 games… by asking people to look at his butt to promote equality.

Restrictions on transgender people taking part in the Olympics are being loosened, allowing them to take part without undergoing gender surgery.

NEXT: Click here to meet the record number of out LGBT+ Olympians taking part in Rio 2016

More: athlete, lea t, olympics, Rio 2016, sport

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