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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Identity » To Cheer or not to Cheer?

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Author Topic: To Cheer or not to Cheer?
Mochi813
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So, I'm in high school, and I've been on the cheer team for two years. I know I've been bisexual for about four, but only a few of my closest friends know that I am.

None of them cheer.

I want to come out, but I know there are some friends of mine who would be upset, and try to get me to go to church and into religion and all that, but it's just not me.
But there's a bigger problem. The cheerleading team. I'm on an all girls cheerleading team, and we have a strict coach who's very picky on her rules about "girl's safety." And by this I mean, we're not allowed to have boyfriends (if we do, we can't talk about them, and they're not allowed to come watch us cheer, and we can't hang out at school)(or girlfriends in my case) and the wrestling team practices on the balcony above us,(the weight area)but enters through the same gym doors as us and Coach locks the doors so they can't get into the gym or weight area. And then, the wrestling coach gets upset, and so on and so forth. She claims she's doing this for our "safety" that all men want to do is rape us and molest us.
But what about bisexuals? If I come out, does that mean that she'll think I want to rape and molest all the girls on the team because I'm bi? And at cheer camp, I talked to most of the girls, and most of them said they don't support gays, they wouldn't feel comfortable about having a gay on the team, and almost all said they'd quit if there was a gay on here. And my suspicions about Coach applied to the team, too. All except one girl agreed that a lesbian or bi girl would want to rape or molest them or see them changing and in short shorts and stuff. But I don't like any of them! I like my best friend, and she goes to the rival school!
I just don't know what to do.
Keep it hidden until the end of high school, or come out and face the wrath of cheerleaders and my coach?
And I'm also afriad of them kicking me of because of my bisexuality. Cheerleading falls under Title 9 as NOT a sport, so would the discrimination law not apply because they're not discriminating me from a sport? Please help.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Mochi: before I answer this, at your school, is there a good counselor or any kind of student advocate? Better still -- though far more rare -- is there a GSA, or an adult advocate for GLBT students?

Mind, understand that just because cheerleading doesn't fall under Title 9 would NOT mean that any discrimination you faced/dealt with within it as a GLBT person would be lawful. It still most likely would not be.

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Mochi813
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No, there's not, I've done a lot of research, but, in all honesty, I live in a redneck, hard Christian, burn the gays kind of area of the country. Most people at my school keep it hidden because they're afraid of what people will do, also. There's no support, or help for us, honestly it's really hard.

And I know, it probably would fall under discrimination punishable by law, I'm just afraid my Coach wouldn't care. She's just so strict about the "no guys" thing, a bi or lesbian girl would be WAY out of proportion

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Heather
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Hopefully, I don't have to tell you how wrong this kind of discrimination is.

If you are in that kind of area, and don't have any of those kinds of advocacy or support, then I'm going to be frank.

Ultimately, if you wanted to be out where you are, it looks like you'd probably face a lot of discrimination and might well have troubles with, or be kicked off your team. You'd absolutely have a legal case there, one you could probably win, and I'm always glad to connect anyone in that position up with someone from a local ACLU branch or another advocacy organization to help you with that.

The choice with this, perhaps obviously, is about what you want, what this is all worth to you, and what you feel capable of handling. If you feel able to handle a lot of negative attention, a lot of controversy, and fighting this kind of fight, I commend you and would strongly support you, doing all we could to help you out.

At the same time, if you didn't feel up to that, or felt like you stood to lose more than you might gain, it's completely understandable if you didn't feel up to that or didn't ant to do that.

Suffice it to say, these are both cruddy choices, I know, and there's no right answer. It utterly sucks anytime anyone has to make a choice between being true to ho they are and doing something they love AND being safe, but sometimes that's the position we find ourselves in. [Frown]

[ 09-09-2010, 04:10 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Mochi813
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Thanks, Heather.

I really didn't have a choice to move out here, it was my parent's decision a few years ago. Now I'm stuck here.

You're right, both of those options sound kind of cruddy (no offense, I'm glad you're giving advice, thank you) and I'm just not sure what I'm supposed to do. I really wouldn't have much support behind me if I came out (maybe about seven friends, at the most) and I'm not sure, that with such a busy life, I could handle that. All the emotions and all the controversy, in other words, all the drama. I'm in our city's Junior Symphony, and I'm known for being a 4.0 GPA honors student. I'm afraid my grades and my musical skill would take a toll if I said anything.

But I don't want to stay hidden like this either, it's just...difficult. I'd love to fight this kind of fight, I'm a total supporter of Gay Rights Movements, and that would be doing something in my community, maybe making a difference for some of the people at school, who are also afraid of coming out.

It's just so hard to choose. I want to get into a good college, and I have REALLY high ambitions. I just feel that something like coming out and having a huge controversy may affect that in some way. I don't know how, but it's just nervewracking.

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Heather
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I know, it's a terribly hard choice.

Are you out to your parents? If so, are they supportive? What about any extended family members?

Do you want me to see if I can't find some kind of advocate to connect you to that you could have a chat with to get more details on what any of this might involve so you can have more information to make your choice? If so, can you leave me your zip code?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Mochi813
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Umm, well, my dad knows, and he's okay with it. I'm not sure if he's told my mother, or if she's guessed on her own, but I know I haven't told her. Nobody else inside my family knows but my dad.

The advocate thing sounds nice, but right now I'm really busy, so I'm not sure I'd have time to talk to anyone. I guess I'll hold out on it for now, if I do think I have time and need more information, I'll surely come back to you. =)

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Heather
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Have you talked to your Dad about this yet? If not, do you feel like you can? I think talking to someone close to you, where you live, who you know accepts you, would be a good call.

With the college issue, one thing I want to say about that is that should you decide to go to the wall with this and fight a fight for your rights, that would likely be of BENEFIT to you in admissions, not a detriment, especially with high-tier schools.

Obviously, I don't think that should lead your choice here, I'd put your safety first, but I just wanted to put that out there.

For sure, if you decide you want someone to talk to, just let me know, and I'd be happy to go through my network and hook you up.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Kath
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I just want to put my two cents in.

I think you're very brave to be considering coming out in a community like that.

Could there be a possibility that you could not come out to the community as a whole, but just your close friends? Of course that carries a risk as well, someone may accidentally inadvertently let something slip, or if your sexuality is referred to in public another person might overhear but it's something to think about. They could give you extra support and that sort of thing.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Kath: in settings like this, especially if and when safety is an issue, it's generally sound to figure that if and when you're going to come out to anyone, you are potentially risking being outed to everyone in relatively short order. [Frown]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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