Canadian footballer Quinn has just made history for the transgender community and the Olympics.

On Monday (2 August), Canada triumphed over world champions the United States with a 1-0 victory, which means the country has secured at least a silver medal for football. Canada will now face Sweden in Friday’s match for the gold.

With their win, Quinn has become the first openly transgender Olympic medal winner in the history of the Games.

Although Quinn – who uses they/them pronouns – won a bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics, this marks their first win since coming out as transgender/non-binary last year.

In a statement posted to their social media channels, the international footballer told fans they had been living as trans for “years”.

“Coming out is HARD (and kinda bs),” Quinn 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. 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.”

For coming out and inspiring a whole new generation of LGBTQ+ youth in the process, Quinn was awarded the 2020 GAY TIMES Honour for Sporting Hero. 

Reflecting on their win, Quinn said: “It’s such a huge honour. Sometimes it feels like all I’m doing is being who I am and playing the sport that I love.

“For me, it doesn’t feel like I’m doing that much, but I do see the struggles that I’ve gone through to get to this point. I love taking that with me and also understanding that it is a real privilege to have this voice and to have this platform.”

Discussing the importance of authentic representation, Quinn continued: “I want to see more inclusivity across my national team environment and in the professional realm — it’s something that I really want to work towards.

“Whether that includes creating a trans inclusion policy in Canada, which is something we don’t have right now. It’s so important, not only at the professional level as an athlete, but to make sure policies filter down into our youth programs, so we don’t lose trans kids at young ages.”

Congratulations Quinn for making history!