WHY ARE YOU SO GAYYYYY: A study on male cheerleaders and gender
Chiew, Cheryl Suet Ning
Date of Issue2017
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
This paper explores how male cheerleaders in Singapore negotiate gendered mechanisms to construct their identities. Male participation in the female domain of cheerleading is seen as a transgression. Their “inappropriate gender behaviour” evokes the fag discourse. The collected data seeks to provide an understanding on how male cheerleaders reconcile their “masculine” male and “feminine” cheerleader identities. In this study, 10 male cheerleaders and 5 female cheerleaders were interviewed to bring to light the gendered experiences of cheerleading. Male cheerleaders reconciled their identities via creating strategies which work within the current gender system. These strategies involve reaffirming their masculinities. Male cheerleaders negated the “gay” label, policed each other’s behaviours, and reframed definitions of cheerleading via focusing on physicality. Despite not out rightly challenging or changing gender norms, male participation provides leverage for more gender boundary negotiations. Rigid gender identities, and the presented mutual exclusivity of roles are also questioned.
DRNTU::Social sciences::Sociology::Social structure
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University