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Team LGBTQ’s Monique Matthews helps lead U.S. sitting volleyball to Paralympics gold

Team USA Sitting Volleyball proved to be champion allies when Matthews’ husband transitioned. Now they’re two- time Paralympic winners as well.

2020 Tokyo Paralympics - Day 12
Team USA exults in their Paralympics sitting volleyball gold medal match victory over China.
Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

The U.S. women’s sitting volleyball team took home their second consecutive Paralympics gold medal, defeating China three sets to one to close out the Tokyo Games. And a member of #TeamLGBTQ played a key role in the victory.

Monique Matthews scored 19 points in the match, becoming one of three U.S. players to reach that total to help lead the way to the top of the podium.

She was joined by Heather Erickson (21 points) and Katie Holloway (20) to form a fearsome attacking triumvirate that China could not overcome.

Matthews’ husband, Landon, came out as trans and transitioned following their wedding in 2016. Since then, Matthews has supported him every step of the way and she maintains a Gofundme page to help pay off the loans for his top surgery.

“When my husband transitioned, all of my teammates were good about using the proper pronouns and the correct name,” Matthews revealed, “There were some slip-ups at first, but now he’s just Landon. My team does really good with it.”

VOLLEYBALL-OLY-2020-2021-TOKYO-PARALYMPICS
Monique Matthews goes for the block at an earlier Paralympics match against Rwanda.
Photo by YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images

Now that team is a two-time Paralympic champion. In winning the gold medal match, the US women avenged an earlier loss to China in the second game of the tournament.

Additionally, combined with victories in women’s Olympic indoor and beach volleyball, the United States became the first nation to take home all three Olympics and Paralympics women’s volleyball gold medals in one summer.

“Women can do anything they put their mind to, and USA Volleyball has the strongest women in the world,” Holloway enthused following her team’s gold medal victory, “It is incredible to be in that place. We are so grateful to be among the most powerful women in the world in volleyball.”

It’s a status they’ll look to maintain when they go for a three-peat in 2024.