So, on my formspring (I have one because I like to laugh at the mean comments people leave, they don't really make me insecure) somebody (a former cheerleader) asked why I did cheer-leading. I just wanted to post my answer because I think a lot of people deal with exclusion and I want them to know that they aren't alone, hang in there, I promise things will get better.
"Ah. I knew this was going to come up. You ask because I didn't fit in, because I was obviously not one of the group, right?
I did it because I love to challenge myself to try new things, because I had always wanted a chance to try gymnastics and I was flexible and light. I did it because it seemed so different, so out-there.
Also, I did it because I had this mythical image of high school, of cheerleaders being the pick of the crop. I'm horrible at flirting, talking to someone I like leaves me a wreak, I just thought that maybe some of that cool would rub off on me and make me how I wanted to be.
I don't think it was a mistake, it taught me a lot about myself. I learned what my physical limits are, and, more importantly, I learned that I have a place where people love me. I have friends that love me because I'm smart, completely un-cool, idiotic, sometimes boy-crazy, compassionate, and myself. I learned that I don't really need to change.
I also learned about prejudice. I know that the cheerleaders (and former cheerleaders) don't want to hear that they acted in a way that could easily be considered racist but, they did. I ate lunch everyday during the summer either alone or with Alonza and her group. They didn't try to be excluded by you all, and neither did I. Nobody invited me to go out with the group, but they let me in with them. Once Alonza and I were running and she told me, crying, that all the white girls hated her. And you know what, it sure looked like they did. I told her that I was excluded, that they didn't like me much either. We both cried and ran and then decided that you all really didn't matter that much. I'm sorry, but a bunch of cheerleaders who don't really care for me anyway aren't worth my time.
I know this is long, but it's really the truth. I don't want to offend anyone, but honestly, all the cheerleaders made me feel like dirt. I thought so much about quitting, I'm shocked that I didn't. I did it because I thought I would love it, and I do love flying, but the cheerleaders aren't 'my' people. I didn't belong. But that's okay now, because I have my friends who make me laugh and never ever leave me alone to cry over my lunch in a thai restaurant."