Brandon Wilson


Kristina Foster

Junior Brandon Wilson chants through his megaphone during a Friday night football game.

Choruses of “L-F-S! L-F-S!” ring out across the football field every Friday night. But amidst the shrill chanting, one voice stands out as two octaves lower than the rest. That voice belongs to junior Brandon Wilson, the only male on the cheerleading squad.
He does a lot of what the girl cheerleaders do. He supports his squadmates at the base of a pyramid, tumbles in the end zone and hypes up the crowd. A megaphone and pants are the only factors that separate Wilson from the rest of the cheer squad. Despite some negative reactions from the student body, he loves being a member of the squad.
“I actually want to cheer in college,” Wilson said.
Wilson wanted to get more involved in school, and because he could already do flips and other gymnastic stunts through his taekwondo training, he decided the best way to get more involved would be through cheer.
Wilson creates quite the contrast on the field. As the only yell leader on the cheer squad, it’s not easy for him to fly under the radar of typical high schoolers searching for something to gossip about.
Wilson planned on receiving some teasing, but Wilson didn’t expect it to go as far as it has. Some of the reactions Wilson has received go well beyond friendly badgering. He has been called a fag more than once and has been told that he should kill himself. Most of the negative responses he gets come through social media or through people saying things about him to his younger sister. Wilson decided early on in his career to remain calm.
“I was going to try not to react, or get mad about it because it’s what I want to do, and I don’t really care what everyone else thinks,” Wilson said.
So far, he’s stuck to his plan.
He recalls a tweet he sent after the first football game, paraphrasing, “I’m not looking for anybody’s permission to be doing this, and it shouldn’t bother you what I do with my time.”
It’s not all bad, however. After sending out the aforementioned tweet, he received texts from people he had not talked to in a long time, saying that they supported him and thought it was cool he decided to do cheer.
While Wilson appreciates the support he receives and is not influenced by other destructive words, he fails to understand why people care what he does.
“I just don’t understand why it bothers them so much, and why if it’s something I want to do, why they have to … tear me down,” Wilson said.