Canadian Quinn becomes first openly transgender athlete to win Olympic gold

Julia Grosso scored the clinching penalty kick as Canada defeated Sweden to capture the country's first Olympic gold medal in women's soccer.

Amid the euphoria of Canada's gold-medal clinching victory against Sweden, Quinn forged their way into history, becoming the first openly transgender and non-binary person to claim an Olympic medal.

Quinn came out as transgender in a social media post last fall, sharing that their pronouns are they/them and their name is simply, Quinn.

"I feel sad knowing there were Olympians before me unable to live their truth because of the world," Quinn said in July. "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."

A 25-year-old midfielder from Toronto, Quinn played soccer at Duke University and now plays for Washington's OL Reign in the NWSL.

Since their debut with Canada in 2014, Quinn has now appeared in 69 games for Canada, including being part of the bronze-medal winning in Rio in 2016. At the time, they had not publicly said they were transgender.

A dynamic midfielder, Quinn played a pivotal role in Canada's march to gold. They started all but one match at these Games, including the dramatic semifinal against the United States.

“Athletics is the most exciting part of my life and it brings me the most joy," Quinn told CBC after defeating the United States. “If I can allow kids to play the sports they love, that’s my legacy and that’s what I’m here for.”

After years of not feeling like they fit in their assigned sex, Quinn came out as non-binary. The gold medallist is able to compete in women’s soccer as transgender because their sex, which is a human’s physical biology and not to be confused with gender, remains female.

Transgender athletes have been eligible for Olympic competition since 2004. The IOC has not provided specific requirements for non-binary athletes, but say it is committed to fair and equal opportunities while being as inclusive as possible.

What does 'Trans' mean?

It’s an umbrella term for people whose gender identity differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. People under the transgender umbrella may describe themselves using one or more of a wide variety of terms — including transgender. Some transgender people use hormone medication or surgery to change their bodies into alignment with their gender identity, but not all transgender people take those steps, and a transgender identity is not dependent upon physical appearance or medical procedures. (Source: GLAAD)

For more information on the 2SLGBTQI community in Canada, you can visit Egale. The organization has a variety of resources, including:

Sports Inclusion Playbook: This resource lays out the different barriers of discrimination that exist in sports and provides tips and tricks on how to foster a more inclusive sport environment.

Tips on how to practice allyship: Read here

2SLGBTQI Terms & Concepts: Read here

2SLGBTQI Glossary of Terms: Read here

Four Components of Identity: Read here

Inclusive language tips: Read here

Preparing Students and Youths for the Transition of a Trans or Gender Diverse Peer: Read here

Parent of a Trans Youth? Here's what you should know.

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