'It proves anybody can do it': transgender teen inspired by LGBTQ+ athletes at 2021 Summer Games

ORANGE COUNTY, N.C. -- The 2021 Summer Games are making history with a record number of LBGTQ+ athletes including two transgender competitors. This move toward increasing transgender visibility is inspiring people all over the globe.

"It just proves that if she can do it anybody can do it," said Madison, a 14-year-old transgender teen from Orange County, North Carolina. "I feel hopeful. If they can make a change in the Olympics, they can make a change in our state because the Olympics is worldwide."

She and her mother, Katie Jenifer, are watching history unfold right before their eyes. A historic number of LGBTQ+ athletes are competing at the 2021 Summer Games in Tokyo, including the first two transgender athletes to compete at the international competition.

Quinn, a midfielder for the Canadian Women's Soccer team who is gender non-binary, won their first match against Chile 2-1 on Saturday. Laurel Hubbard, a New Zealand weightlifter, will start competition on August 2.

For Jenifer, this monumental moment is bittersweet.

"When we've had a summer like we had with the North Carolina General Assembly and then so many other states, it's hard to be hopeful. This is sort of a victory in a lot of ways," said Jenifer.

Earlier this year, North Carolina lawmakers introduced a measure banning transgender girls and women from competing in sports not based off the gender listed on their birth certificate.

The bill was eventually set aside by the North Carolina House of Representatives, but nearly 35 other bills have been proposed by state legislators across the U.S. to limit or ban transgender women from competing in women's sports..

Just three days into the 2021 Summer Games, transgender visibility on this international stage is resonating with this North Carolina family.

"We'll definitely be rooting for Quinn and Laurel Hubbard here from our living room and all the LGBTQ athletes in this summer's games," said Jenifer.
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