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Olympic footballer Rebecca Quinn comes out as trans and gives masterclass on how cis people can be better allies

Reiss Smith September 9, 2020
Rebecca Quinn and another woman footballer grappling for the ball

Rebecca Quinn (left) has come out as trans. (Getty)

Canadian footballer Rebecca Quinn has come out publicly as transgender with a powerful message about the importance of representation and allyship.

Quinn, who plays on the Canadian women’s national football team and won bronze at the 2016 Summer Olympics, shared their truth on Instagram Tuesday (September 8).

“Coming out is hard (and kinda bs),” they wrote.

“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.”

Quinn, 25, acknowledged the complexities of coming out via social media, saying: “I 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.

“So instead I want to be visible to queer folx who don’t see people like them on their feed. I know it saved my life years ago.”

Quinn then laid down the gauntlet to cis folk to become better allies to trans people by adding their pronouns to their bio, following more trans and non-binary people, practising using gender-neutral pronouns, voting for leaders who support trans rights and by starting “to catch yourself making assumptions about people in public/ bathrooms/ any space”.

View this post on Instagram

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. Instagram is a weird space. I 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. So INSTEAD I want to be visible to queer folx who don’t see people like them on their feed. I know it saved my life years ago. I want to challenge cis folks ( if you don’t know what cis means, that’s probably you!!!) to be better allies. It’s a process, and i know it won’t be perfect, but if I can encourage you to start then it’s something. 1) put your pronouns in your bio 2) follow/ listen to other trans/nb voices ( @janetmock , @ashleemariepreston , @alokvmenon to name a few :)) 3) practice using gender neutral pronouns with friends/ in a mirror 4) vote 5) start to catch yourself making assumptions about people in public/ bathrooms/ any space

A post shared by Quinny (@thequinny5) on

Quinn – currently on loan to the Swedish Vittsjö GIK from their home team, OL Reign – played for Canada in the 2019 World Cup and at the 2016 Olympics. They helped Canada qualify for the Tokyo 2020 games, due to take place in summer 2021.

Their announcement makes them one of the world’s most prominent trans sportspeople, and comes at a time when various sporting bodies and governments are attempting to exclude trans women from sports.

The International Olympics Committee is due to announce new rules on trans inclusion after the 2020 games, which may impact athletes who are trans women.

Though the IOC is reportedly struggling to reach a consensus, World Rugby is currently proposing an outright ban on trans women playing alongside cis women, despite heavy criticism from experts including 80 academics who have jointly said there is “no scientific basis” to the plan.

More: Rebecca Quinn, trans footballer, trans sports

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