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Quinn explains the thought process that led to their coming out announcement

A lot of meditation on self-esteem and influence went into Canadian soccer star Quinn publicly coming out as transgender.

Canada Portraits - FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019
Quinn strikes a contemplative pose before the 2019 World Cup.
Photo by Ben Radford - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

As a starting defender for the Canadian National World Cup and bronze medal winning Olympic soccer teams as well as the OL Reign, Quinn has already led the kind of prominent career that most athletes can only dream of.

And when they came out publicly as transgender via their Instagram account back in mid-September, they immediately became one of the most well-known trans athletes on the planet.

With that status in mind, Quinn recently shared the thought process that led up to their coming out announcement in an interview with NewsChain. It’s a glimpse into the growth of their self-confidence as a trans person.

Quinn revealed to NewsChain’s Alicia Turner that there was no single dramatic moment that led to their announcement, declaring that “I didn’t ever feel like there was a right time, but I think I had just gotten to the point where I was so confident in myself and who I was, [while] understanding that there was going to be some pushback and some scrutiny and be able to handle all that.”

Canada Portraits - FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019
Part of Quinn’s self confidence involves letting soccer fans see them having fun playing the game.
Photo by Ben Radford - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

While Canada doesn’t have a Betsy DeVos in its government, the U.S. Secretary of Education is but one example of the backlash trans athletes face. It’s why self esteem is so important to the coming out process, especially in the case of a well-known athlete who faces regular criticism as part of their job.

Indeed, Quinn emphasized that “It took years of my life to be able to deal with the constant transphobia that I faced,” before they made their public announcement.

However, that healthy growth of self esteem was only one factor that went into their coming out. Quinn also was well aware that their status as a public figure meant that revealing their true self would have an impact on the greater community.

They declared, “I think it’s so critical to have more trans representation and to have more trans visibility, and so I think that was definitely one of the main reasons why I wanted to be so public.”

Quinn also discussed the effects of revealing their true self to Dawn Ennis and Karleigh Chardonnay Webb on this week’s episode of The Trans Sporter Room, during which they revealed that while they’ve had their share of positive interaction with teammates, it’s not been all smooth sailing.

While they characterized the response from their roster mates in Sweden, where they are on loan, as “overly positive,” Quinn admitted that “From other teams that I’m on, it hasn’t been that way. There have been a couple of players who have had questions or outwardly told me that they didn’t approve or said some really ignorant hurtful things.”

Canada v United States: Final - 2020 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying
Quinn’s Canadian teammates have given them a shoulder to lean on.
Photo by Michael Janosz/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Nonetheless, Quinn has persevered by keeping their eyes on the goals in front of them. As they told Ennis and Webb, one of the most prominent of those is participating as an openly trans athlete in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics:

“I think it is really exciting to potentially be a trailblazer in that sense. But at the same time, I’m pretty positive that there’s been trans people at the Olympics. They just haven’t been out during their time [there]. And so for me, I think that’s just really exciting that I can be out...It speaks to the places that we’re moving and I hope that there [are] many trans folks that are going to follow me in those steps.”

With that kind understanding of how they could influence their community, it feels as though coming out was only the first chapter of Quinn’s impact on the sports world.