Gender Fluid Cheerleading?

Discussion in 'Allstar Cheerleading' started by colorora, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. colorora

    colorora I'm new. Don't Hurt Me

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    Hi there! I currently do allstar cheerleading with my local gym, we have our first competition this month and I'm super excited! The only problem is... I've recently come out as genderfluid/non binary. Cheerleading itself is a very feminine sport, but despite that, I am going to continue it.

    For those who are confused, I basically hate being a girl. I'm not a boy, but I'm not girl. I'm usually somewhere in the middle, but there are some days where I feel like I'm leaning more to one side. I'm going to try and shoot for a more androgynous look in 2017. I really want to cut my hair into a pixie cut, but I won't be able to wear our bows. Do you think this will be okay? The hair I currently have now just feels so wrong.

    Also, next season I'm going to ask to get a boys uniform instead of a girls. I've seen what they look like and I think that they fit me better than the crop tops and shorts the girls have. Do you think my coaches will be okay with all these changes? Or will they deny my gender identity? I also want to bind my chest but I'm not sure if they'd be okay with that either. If they aren't, then it's their loss, but how can I cope with this? I'm just sick of being a girl.

    If anyone has any experience on this, some advice would be much appreciated. Or maybe you could just share your own stories that are similar, I feel like the only one in the world.

    TL:DR I'm genderfluid and I want to know if the reaction from my coaches will be good or bad regarding my transition.

     
  2. Eyes On The Prize

    Eyes On The Prize Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    Welcome to fierceboard!

    I think this is a conversation you need to have with the gym owner and coaches. There could be mutliple possible outcomes of this.

    I cant see short hair as that much of an issue but some gyms require a standard appearance for their athletes. However, there are many, many female athletes with short hair in gyms worldwide. If you were to wear the male uniform, i dont see an issue with the short hair.

    The male uniform part, again, is a conversation you will have to have with your coaches and gym owner. Since cheer teams are categorized by gender, age, and level, this might pose as an issue. Im not quite sure how this works in terms of cheer, im not if theres already a precedent for this type of thing. But i have to assume that if you were to wear a male uniform, the team will have to go coed. And the score sheets differ based on if the team is all girl/coed. For example, coed stunting might be required for your team and if no one on the team can do that, it might put your team at a disadvantage when competing. (Not that girls cant do coed stunting, but it's just tougher since female bodies, in general, are built differently.) Males are expected to take on different roles in cheer. There are many factors that could play into the coaches a gym owners decision to accomodate your needs.

    Its a tough spot i think, for both you and your coaches, because cheer is not an individualized activity, where identity is individualized. And while they probably want to be accomodating to you, they also have to think about the success of the team.

    Please consult a doctor about the binding. Ask them if there is a safe way to do it for strenuous activities. If you cant wear the male uniform, you should check with the coaches if you will be able to wear the bindings with the female uniform.

    Some gyms may be able to accomodate you, some might not, and it might not always be because of their personal views on the subject, it just may be they cant build a coed team like that for you.

    Im not trying to be offensive. As much as i want to tell you that they should be able to accomdate you, the reality is gender is a part of cheer and its black and white to the score sheets and division grid. Unfortunately this is a grey area and the decision could go either way. And again, cheer is a team activity, not an individual one, and sometimes it will be hard to accomodate an individual.

    If you are met with resistance from your current gym, try to find a gym that already has a coed team. They will probably be more able to accomodate you. Switching an all girl team to coed might be difficult. Putting you on a team that already has males is less difficult. But again, this is a thing you should talk to your coaches and gym owner about. No one here can tell you what your coaches reaction will be.

    Best of luck, i hope your gym is able to accomodate you/that you can find a gym that can.
     
  3. ErinS

    ErinS Slow your roll, Sparkle. World Champion GIF Poster

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    I can't imagine a girl wearing a male uniform requiring the team to go coed.

    A uniform modification for purposes of modesty (suppose a female wished to wear pants and a full top for religious purposes) wouldn't result in that team going coed

    For legal purposes, as an athlete, until she has her birth certificate changed,(and I'd guess, legally with the exception of being intersexed, this would be very far off) she would be USASF registered as a female no matter what she wears.


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  4. icequeen

    icequeen I have my own cheer message board

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    I have always wonder how Cali handled that situation.
     
  5. ErinS

    ErinS Slow your roll, Sparkle. World Champion GIF Poster

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    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
  6. Eyes On The Prize

    Eyes On The Prize Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    I guess, if their birth certificate says female, then technically the team would stay all girl. I didnt think about that.

    The uniform would still be a discussion with the gym owner. I dont believe that all gyms would allow someone to wear a male uniform over a female uniform for religious reasons.
     
  7. ErinS

    ErinS Slow your roll, Sparkle. World Champion GIF Poster

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    I'm not saying they would, although I can't imagine a gym wanting the backlash if they didn't. I'm saying modifications or accommodations to a uniform does not dictate the athletes registered gender


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  8. icequeen

    icequeen I have my own cheer message board

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  9. AnotherCheerMom

    AnotherCheerMom Cheer Stalker

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    Whoops sorry for the bad post above, if anyone knows how to delete a post please teach me! Anyway, just wanted to say to original poster that I hope you stick with cheer and are accepted for who you are, you deserve nothing less! If your birth certificate says female, I think you might be entered as such, but I don't see how the other aspects like hair and "male" uniform should be an issue. Good luck!
     
  10. WinstonsGirl

    WinstonsGirl I'm an announcer on CBS for Worlds (or should be)

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    I've been in this position with one of my athletes. They also identify as gender fluid. We can't tell you how your coach will react. You will have to present this to them. Be prepared that they may not be ready/willing/wanting to hear this and may react negatively. Unfortunately, you will still face a lot of misunderstanding and prejudice from people. We don't know if your coaches will be some of those people.

    My athlete also has super short hair and was concerned about their bow. My suggestion was to either go with no bow, or to wear a smaller headband style depending on what they preferred. As well, the choice for uniform is theirs alone. In the past, I've had Muslim girls wear the regular uniform with their hijab and leggings under the skirt, so I see no reason why this athlete should not have a say in their preferred uniform of choice as well.

    Part of you sounds worried about your coaches reaction and the other half seems ready to deal with any possibly negative outcomes. Remember that your body is yours, and regardless of how you identify, no one should tell you how to wear your hair. If you identified female and still wanted a pixie cut, would their reaction be different? I hope not. As for chest binding, please talk to your Doctor before you start, to ensure you are doing this in the safest possibly way for your health.

    Good luck. This can be a scary thing to approach when you are unsure of the possible reactions. You are not the only athlete in this position, though it can be hard to see. Remember that this is your body and you need to do what is right for you. I truly hope you have a positive experience with your coaches. We're here if you need a friendly ear, advice or just someone to vent to.
     
  11. Batarangkisses

    Batarangkisses Cheer Stalker

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    I love seeing this!
    I myself am gender fluid, at practices I usually look more boyish but no matter how I'm feeling I usually do full spray tan and all of that for competition. My coaches (though I haven't asked at all) are extremely accepting and I'm sure they would let me wear a mens uniform if I wanted. The only reason I could see them saying no is because I'm a flyer and it would be harder to catch and stunt in pants.
    When I coach and at try outs I let the athletes tick if they would like a "Pants" uniform or a "skirt" uniform. I didn't put genders on it and I use gender neutral terms most times. Not putting genders on it gave the athletes more of an option which made a lot of parents happy-- though some parents were livid but sometimes you gotta live with bigots.

    HOWEVER: Do NOT wear a binder when you cheer. That is so dangerous.

    but talk to your coaches and see where it goes :) Wishing you luck!
     
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  12. Ashley

    Ashley Administrator Staff Member National Champion

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    USASF's policy is that you can compete as the gender with which you identify, provided you have documentation from a doctor (though obviously the OP is not transgender). US All Star Federation

    Wearing a boy's uniform won't mean the team has to go coed, but it does mean she'll stand out and if the coach cares about symmetry will have to make her center for everything.
     
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  13. seajack

    seajack I'm new. Don't Hurt Me

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    Very well thought out response!
     
  14. seajack

    seajack I'm new. Don't Hurt Me

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    Very well thought out response! @Eyes On The Prize
     
  15. dat.jpp

    dat.jpp I shimmy daily

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    Ah, I have a trans F-M best friend who did allstar cheer, He was only on the team for like 2 months. He didn't like it so he quit. (Just wanted to share)