Male Cheerleading is a Sport!
Male Cheerleading is a Sport!
Against popular belief, females were not the founders behind the sport of cheerleading; instead males who were so eager to cheer while watching sporting events created this sport. In the 1890's the first pep club was organized at Princeton University, and it was there where the first organized yell was recorded. The University of Minnesota organized cheerleading and the first school "fight song." Women didn't get introduced to cheerleading until the 1920s when gymnastics was slowly introduced to the sport. Cheerleading didn't become a predominantly woman sport until the 1950's. Today there are more then three thousand high school and college cheerleaders in the United States. 97% of all cheerleaders are female; however, approximately 50% of collegiate Cheerleaders are male. Although males were the founders of cheerleading they have different social and cultural costs and benefits than females involved in this sport today. There are many different stereotypes that males need to face; and these labels stem from the current day problem of homophobia.
When a man enters the world of cheerleading he is immediately labeled as being effeminate. These males are faced with the task of overcoming society's stereotypes of a male Barbie figure. Ken, Barbie's male counterpart is a muscular, preppy, and all American boy. These qualities often lead society to label those males that have these characteristics as gay. Many generalizations are made that gay men are not athletic and therefore would turn to cheerleading as their sport of interest. To many homophobic people cheerleading is therefore deemed as a sport for sissies. They claim that cheerleaders are there solely for looks and entertainment purposes outside of the actual sport event where they are performing. Another stereotype for cheerleading is that girls are cheerleaders to look cute and clap their hands in front of an audience. People forget that their routines require strength, skill, and coordination. The males in the squad often provide a tremendous source of strength when lifting and throwing their teammates in the air. The strength and coordination required by male cheerleaders is comparable to any male dominated sport, but this fact is often ignored by society. Additionally, our society is generally supportive of females who participate in sports that require the twirling of batons, marching, attractive uniforms, and the recitation of rhymes. However, as soon as a male is introduced into this environment there is thought to be a threat to his masculinity. This often deters males from being involved in activities that they wish to participate in. The fear of being chastised by society often leaves males to resort to sitting in the student section of the stands removed from the cheerleader's section.
Although there are many hardships and criticisms that come with breaking out of the social norm there are far more benefits than pitfalls. The males that do decide to be cheerleaders cannot imagine their lives without the rewards and satisfaction that follow the completion of a routine. They also gain back self-esteem and dignity due to their ability to withstand the harsh remarks and criticisms. "Any man can hold a cheerleader's hand but only the elite can hold her feet." Once friends of cheerleaders get over the initial stereotyping they are often envious of their peer's muscular and fit frame. After the crowd experiences a male cheerleader's performance the stereotypes fade and respect is gained. The guys on these teams can perform back springs, hand tucks, towering pyramids etc. while being 6'0 tall and weighing more than two hundred pounds. They spend hours training every day in preparation for tournaments and appearances on ESPN. While walking down the street they may be mistaken for a football player, but they throw and catch humans, not leather! Although other males may perceive them as effeminate and less of a man, females tend to flock around them. Instead of female cheerleaders feeling threatened by the role of male cheerleaders, they are often the ones to recruit them. Often times females do not seek other females for this position because it would destroy their image, so males are used instead. The female cheerleaders prize male cheerleaders because they provide them with strength needed to perform difficult stunts.
Society often labels an activity a sport if it is rugged, requires endurance, strength, and masculine qualities. Because cheerleading is a predominantly women sport and is characterized by attractive uniforms and cheers, society often shuns the idea of men participating in this activity. Often times the activity is not considered a sport and the males and females are not considered athletes. Both males and females have to fight to encourage others to perceive them as athletes. In 1997, only one all female division participated in the NCAA all-collegiate cheer and dance team national championships. This proves the point that despite the social and cultural costs involved, males are still eager to participate in the sport that they originally founded and feel many more benefits as well.
Ok, for about the last 2 years I have watched the Cheer Team and respected everyone of them for their work and dedication. I have watched competetions and all sorts of events. The only problem is that I just graduated from High School and want to start maybe even tryout in College. I was on the Football team for 4 years and the Wrestling Team for 3 years and I enjoyed those so much that I didn't want to leave to join cheerleading b/c the others would have "labeled" me. So now im out of High School, I start college in 3 months and I really wana be a guy cheerleader. I think I could do that and I have the determination and the qualitys to do it. I don't care what other people think anymore, I wish I would have realized it while in highschool. I regret it every day. I want to join the college team, but I have never had gymnastics or any of that stuff. I have seen the UMN guys do cartwheels into flips and I don't know if I can do that. I want to but im just not sure. Im going to Duluth this fall, guys might have gotten invited to join the team.....i don't know what to do. Where do I go? How can I get ready to do this if I have never had experience before?
Hey...I am bi-sexual and interested in joing male cheerleading!..but scared of what people will say about....scared of the rumors and everything...I think being a cheerleader is awsome,i can flip,dance,and hold people up..i would be perfect but still way to nervous and un-ready for what would be said..OK well I was wondering..anybody give me a clue on what I should do?..should I join or no?..E-mail me and tell me what u think I should do!THXX
I am a highschool Freshman and I am interested in trying out for JV next year but dont want to be made fun of. by the way I am 100% strait what should I do.
hey there, I am a male cheerleader and I am also BI. so if you want pointer tips just email and yeah It's cool if you go out for it...me I really don't care what other people think and you shouldn't!! so join....how old are you?? me I am 16 and I have been in cheerleading for 2 year's now.So join and email me back!!
hey, i think that it is great that guys would want to try out for the squad. i graduated from high school in may 2005. i cheered all through high school and i was a softball player. i considered cheerleading a sport as much as softball or i wouldn't have done it. i now go to College of the Ozarks in southern missouri. they didn't have softball so i tried out for the squad. we have 4 guys and not one of them is gay what so ever. i love being in this sport with guys. i mean how else would people be able to see a back tuck basket toss.
I was a cheerleader in high school ('92-'94)in a predominatly black high school where cheering was a "white people thing". Being a black male, I was worried about what my classmates would think of me cheering and I got the worst reaction from my peers, until they saw me cheer and do stunts with the girls on the squad. After my peers saw what I could do and realized that it took hours of practice just to something that you could miss if you blink your eye, they had a lot of respect for me and made sure that they let me know that they thought what I was doing was admirable. Some of the foot ball players actually tried out for the team but quit when they discovered what hard work it was. For any guys that wants to join the cheerleading team, I say go for it and don't worry about what people have to say. They may have harsh words in the beginning but in the end they will envy you.
I just wanted to comment on the comments! I am a male cheerleader for West Virginia University. I am completely streight and when I started was worried about what people would think. For anyone who hasn't tried cheerleading, let me tell you it is hard. I played football all through high school and I have taken harder hits while catching a basket toss or having a girl come off on a two-two one, than i took while playin ball. Cheerleading is not for the faint of heart you must be strong and disciplined! If you are willing to check your guts at the door I can tell you it will be an awesome experience...and hey you get to hang out with the hottest girls in school so it cant be that bad!! If you ever have any problems with people giving you a hard time just look at them and invite them to try...if their man enough! You guys, don't worry about what people think, go for it and you woun't be disappointed! ... Adam Lough, 31 January 2006
Fast Forward 3 years. Here i am, 6'1 265lbs. can bench press 365lbs. and i owe it all to Cheerleading. Not to mention I met my girlfriend who ive had for 3 years through cheerleading.
I strongly Encourage male to join cheerleading. I promise you it will make you stronger more quickly than any other sport. the only requirements you need to meet are, some what flexible, a good memory, dedication, be able to take a punch, elbow, kick, or whatever gets thrown at you and have the mental strength to sacrifice yourself for your flyer, even if it means you get a broken nose.
ive had more injuries from cheerleading than all 3 of my roomates have had in their whole lives ... Andy, 14 February 2006
Hey I am BI-SEXUAL male I am have been cheering all my life I use to cheer for Skiline Hihg School and now I attend Lincoln High school. We are have try out for Varsity cheerleader And now i have a chance to try out every one at lincoln won'ts me to try out and i wont to really bad but there's a problem On of my English teaches don't won't me to tryout b/c Linclon has never had a boy cheerleader What shall I do Should ry out anyways and jest giveup Oh yea bye the way father dont won't me to try out either he likes me to ballet i can do anything a women can do and better and the great thing about it is no one knows about me. So please help me ... Anthony Lewis, 24 March 2006
hey ive been cheerleading for only a year and it is harder than any sport that ive ever been in. ive been in football, swim, soccer, lacross, diving,gymnastics, track and field and compared to the mental and physical work that you do in cherrleading they are easy. Im on the MN elite all star team and love it its fun but very challanging ... Maxwell, 6 April 2006
I have been a male cheerlader for two years and yes it is hard to overcome suchcomments as fag and gay but once those football players see you have bigger muscles than they do or cheerleading gives you abs and football does not everything changes and you earn the respect you deserved in the first place. i love cheerleading and wish o do it all through high school and get a scholarship
to a college i want to go to without paying tuition and get a my doctorae without paying anything but a dorm fee. There are many benefits besides girls to male cheerleading. Anybody that reads this please do not be afraid to do what you want because of other people. If i can do it and i am in middle school, so can you ... Zack, 19 August 2006
This Has been my firt year cheerleading!! And Omg it has been amazing! Im 17 and gay But i get alot of recpect and im going to try Varsity nex year! ... Jeff, 5 February 2007
My boyfriend is a cheersport national championship cheerleader. He is muscular, cute, and the sweetest guy you'll ever meet, but he STILL gets picked on & hassled by other guys for being a cheerleader. What these guys don't realize is that he works HARD. (I mean, where do they think he got that body from, anyways??)He is at practice EVERY DAY working his but off. Most of the guys that make fun are wrestlers & football players, so there sport basically involves getting sweaty and rubbing all over guys in spandex or a tight pants and a few strategically placed pads. Cheerleading practice is hard, but the guys are surrounded by 25 girls in little cheerleading shorts who they get to pick up, throw, and be all over them for 3 hours every day. Which would you choose guys?? No matter what people say, I'm standing by my boyfriend 100% ... Sara, 21 February 2007
All I have to say..Is I've been a cheerleader for 3 years now..and I absolutely love it..I don't care what people think..Im 17 and in high school. People talk about me all the time..but do I care no, and no one should..its a jealousy.i mean football player say I'm gay..which i am. but still i think any straight guy would rather look up girls skirts then look at a guys butt...lol..honestly..if you love something go for it..don't worry about what people say, because sooner or later they will get over it ... Reader on the web, 9 March 2007
Okay, Im gay and I really dont know how you guys feel seeing how im not staright and not in your position but I do know this. Cheerleading is Well accepted and no one makes fun of anyone. Im an All Star cheerleader and have been for two years. I tumble, dance, jump and base. I personally feel that what us male cheerleaders can accomplish is amazing and its no hard work. I have to work out EVERYDAY to keep myself toned for single Basing, I have to practice tumbliong EVERYDAY so it gets better and I have to fake a smile when i WANT TO BREAK DOWN AND CRY!!!!!! Cheerleading is not what people make of it. Its a sport, just liek football and if someone is going to make fun of you cause you can throw a girl into the air by yourself and hold her up with one hand, then they really have no life at all cause its pretty much amazing! Other people should not be what drives you AWAY from cheerleading. It should be what drives you TO cheerleading. You always want to when they say you cant. Who cares what other people say. People make fun of me Very rarely and ya knwo something! I laugh so ahrd when they do, cause I would pay millions to say the little weak ass throw some chick into the air like I can. ANY MAN CAN HOLD HER HAND ...
... BUT ONLY THE ELITE CAN HOLD HER FEET! ... Kenny, 8 May 2007
being a male cheerleader i can say that there is almost no sport that is more rewarding. the people that make stereotypes are the only ones that havent seen what we (male cheerleaders) do. they dont know what its like to have a girl 4 feet above your head and 13 feet above the ground knowing that if something happens and she comes down its your obligation to make sure she comes down safely by any means necessary. as for not wanting to deal with the stereotypes it will only last until they see your first performance and go wow...that looks tough. i\', the only guy to even make it on my schools squad EVER i had to deal with immense stereotyping i was called everything from spirit fingers to a flamer and pretty much anything else you can think of but i didnt let it get to me i didnt have to my girls looked out for me when that was still going on and now i look out for them when they need me... dont worry about stereotypes PERIOD. if you need ANY thing at all feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com
p.s. - word to the wise if your thinking about cheerleading for the girls on the squad like if your trying to get with them...dont think about it you will get caught and you will be hated...i wouldnt even think of doing anything with my girls..never. and im not gay either ... Brandon Hoolehan, 29 June 2007
Im the first male cheerleader at my highschool. I felt SUPER special, because I got NEW uniform and all that good stuff. Anyways, moving on, at my school, there are chubby cheerleaders, so actually I get to be the lifted one not the lifter. I dont even know if I can do that in colleges. I hope I will be the first ... Noukue, 10 July 2007
Hey!! My name is Chase, but I am a female cheerleader! I'm wantin' to give advice to all you guys out there who are wantin to become a cheerleader but are afraid of bein' stereotyped! Well, let me tell you that Male cheerleaders get to "hang with the ladies" more than anyone else! The guys that I know who cheer are some of the coolest cats around! Once people see their abilities, they no longer call the guys a "wuss".. They realize that they are far from that! So, if you want to become a cheerleader, don't delay it ANY longer!!! :) I have so much respect for male cheerleaders! ... Chase, 4 September 2007
Hey, i was a cheerleader my last two years of high school. Throughout my four years i played many other sports which i one various awards form mvp, to all-state, to even captain on some teams. Those bored me. I soon found myself on a cheer squad and it presented me with one of my biggest challenges, and some of the greatest times of my life. I am straight, im a built 210 pound 6'3 athlete. Grew up on a farm, was in 4-h, and am now at UC for agriculture engineering, a very non-cheerleading generalized backround. Point is, its open and its overlooked, and is by far one of the most challenging sports i have yet to play ... Nicholas Johnson, 7 November 2007
hey im a high school cheerleader too and ive been doing cheer 4 about 4 seasons now( 2years and made varsity my first time) forget about what other guys say about you and ya your going to get alot of truble forget them and i know other guys in cheer who have been doing cheer there hole life and there st8er then any guys i know really any one can do cheer if you cant tumble work on jumps ( like pike, toe touch, duble 9s,) and flexability thats what im doing and more( and i just got a new choech ( sorry not that good at spelling) and shes helping me with the hole tumbling thing) ask around go to your local gymnastics gym work on starters like round off, cartweels,handstands were you pop up to stand up and pop cartweels 4 areils ... Nun Ya, 14 November 2007
im staright and am a freshman i just started jv cheer and am really enjoy it those of you who are interested should should really join im not so heavy or strong and have been used as a flyer.... the crowed goes wild easpecially when there is a male flying wow that got alot off my chest email me if you have any questions about cheer ... Jason, 15 November 2007