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Snippet of Homophilia: Jonathan Van Ness

From Audio: Jonathan Van Ness

station description Hosts Dave Holmes and Matt McConkey grill your favorite LGBTQ+ celebrities on what ... read more
Duration: 07:32
The incomparable and hilarious Jonathan Van Ness talks with the Homophilia guys about Gay of Thrones, hair-care in quarantine and becoming the first male cheerleader at their high school. It was though to pick just a few minutes from this episode, so take a listen to the entire episode!
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The incomparable and hilarious Jonathan Van Ness talks with the Homophilia guys about Gay of Thrones, hair-care in quarantine and becoming the first male cheerleader at their high school. It was tough to pick just a few minutes from this episode to feature, so take a listen to the entire episode on Homophilia's station!
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Can you Can we talk about high school? Jonathan E. I know you were the first male cheerleader at your high school, um, which I'm just obsessed with that image. And I went to high school in a small town, Ohio, and I was in the band, but I was friends with the cheerleaders, and I was always kind of like messing around with them with the football games And, like, wanted so badly to be the first male cheerleader in my high school, but just didn't have the balls to do it. So, um, how did you did you not see? Bring it on. I actually didn't see Bring it on until after high school. Oh, well, okay. So bringing came out when I was in eighth grade and, like, basically bring it on, gave me the courage. Like I was like, Oh, no, I'm I will not be on the sidelines. I can't like how am I going to become a Toro if I'm not on the cheer squad? And really, this girl kind of like dared me to try out because I was so obsessed with Bring it on and I was like, I'll try out. Um but other boys had tried out, but they were always joking about it like they were always like that. Like, you know, straight guy kind of just like joking about it. Um, like making fun of it. I was not making fun of it. I was taking it so seriously. Like I was like, Hi, be Roby. Yes, touchdown like 1st and 10. Let's do it again. So let's go. Let's go. Like I was learning the chance, memorizing the chance, memorizing the motion that But I was so like as obsessed with hairdressing as I am is an adult like that was me for cheer like, I think, in ninth and 10th grade, like when I made the squad. I like war like a Q. H s tree leader T shirt to school every single day. Like I wore one of our Camp T shirts. And like our little warm ups like everyday like I was like, Bitch, I'm a true leader. And it was really funny because I think I thought that if I became a true leader, I would somehow like, get more popular. People would be nicer to me. It did get me more popular in the sense of, like, everyone knew who I was now because I was like, the only boy cheerleader, but like nobody liked me outside of like, just exactly the cheerleaders like that was like, the only group that I had, But, like, um, they're like, sway didn't go like that far with, like, you know, the rest of the school. Um, so, yeah, it was challenging, But I loved cheer, And it really did give me, like, community and like people. And eventually I think it really is. It really was the case that like because, you know, in ninth grade, when I tried out, I couldn't tumble. And I talked about like this over chapters and chapters in my book, Like You can tell, it's really still with me If you read the book, I couldn't tumble and because I had found this, like, friendship and this, you know, group finally, in the ninth grade. Um, my first year I only cheer for football, and that's because to try out for the basketball squad, you had to be able to tumble and I couldn't tumble. And I had tried to tumble when I was little and I got laughed out of the gymnastics classes because like I just was really bad and I was like a chunky little baby and I just couldn't tumble. I wasn't strong, I couldn't do it. And so then when I made sure in ninth grade, I was like, Well, I have to learn how to now because I won't be able to cheer year around if I can't do a back flip. So I really started like I started taking gymnastics lessons like three nights a week, and I was like, I gotta figure out like, get this body to do a backflip. So I finally learned how to do it for tryouts for my sophomore year. And then I ended up making basketball cheer and football cheer so I could share year around. But it was very obvious that I worked really hard at it because the stuff that I could do when I was like 1/9 grade and the stuff that I could do in 10th grade I mean, I couldn't hold anyone up alone. When I first started, and then by 10th grade I was like doing single base stunts and I was flipping all over the place and people started to be nicer to me and then even like the athletes that I was cheering for, like started to notice that I was doing mawr and then getting better at it. And then slowly but surely, people just started being nicer and, like people started being more excited about about it and being more excited for me. And then my junior year, thes two straight guys tried out who were really good gymnasts, like they could tumble, but they didn't take the emotions and like learning the cheers and the dances seriously. But they were like, We're gonna make it will just be with all these, like hot girls. And we're just, like, do backflips. And neither of them made it. And I did. And I was like, See how it's not so easy to just be needy is not so easy. And then this is a really cute story. This like what it all culminated in. We've already told you the story did. This is all jacked in that story to tell you the story, but it Yeah, but not on Mike. Not on not on, Mike, but so basically, um, my junior year at this high school. I think it was like one of my last basketball games I've ever cheered out in high school. There is this. The other squad had this one boy tree leader and he was like fucking Simone Biles like he was like he could do like back flips all the way across the floor, but just like normal backflips, you know, it's like, you know, foot, hand, foot, hand, just like, you know, flip flopping back and forth. He could do, like, roundup back Handspring. Full twisting, Lay out, Step out, round up. I can Spring Arabian roundup back answering whip back, which I mean he was doing like crazy. I mean, he was like Olympic level, like such a good gymnast. So culture in high school basketball cheer is, is that you know, there's like two full time like two minute long time outs for the two minute timeouts. One squad gets to do a cheer for the minute, like in the middle of the court, and then the other squad gets to do a cheer in the middle of the court for that minute, right? And on your minute time out, you do not cross each other's cheer like so one squad wouldn't do like a stunt or go running across. You know, they're cheer doing tumbling and stuff because like it's their turn right Then on the halftime out, that's when, like the visitors do a thing on their side and we do a thing on our side. You just divide it happen. You both go at once, but it's very clear and there's no miscommunication, right? So it's our turn to do our full minute cheer and we go out and we're in the middle of our stunt and in the middle of our stunt, like the apex of our chair, I look in front of us and I see at the corner of my eye there Onley Merrill cheerleader comes tumbling and flipping right in front of our stunt in the middle of the court like we were in center court. The players aren't playing, obviously, because it's the time out and its like our time to perform, and this motherfucker comes in the middle of our stunt and tries to show up. Our stunt, which is like that is just an ultimate like fuck you, like you just it couldn't be any more of like a cheer. No, No. So if your definition of a queen So then I we we cradled our stunt like we popular stunt down. We were done with our cheer and I looked at him. There was, like, 30 seconds left on the time out. And so I did a round off like three back hand springs right upto where there are two leaders were and I went, Come on And then he liked it a tumbling path. And then I didn't tell me. We were, like, both tumbling and he very much beat me in the tumble off like he beat me. I didn't follow or anything, but, like, he was very much clearly better. And also my nickname in high school is Jack. So But by the end of that, everyone because, I mean, I tumbled right up to him was like, Come on like I started. It was very like a thing. Everyone in the auditorium everyone players, cheerleaders, Spectators, everyone from Quincy There's a hometown game was like Jack Van Ness, Jack Van Ness for like a minute. And it was so good because I was like, Fuck him. Fuck Moline like fucking fucks it was like such Like I mean, like, I remember like people like it was just such a moment because, like, everyone knew that it was like this moment where, like everyone had used to, like, really shunned me. And I was like, not a celebrated piece of that community. And then in that moment, I really, really waas And I mean, it was something that, like, you know, my mom and like my family still talks about, I think, Ah, lot of people and Quincy would remember that moment. So it was cute and it ended up ended up well.
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