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Digital Subscriptions > Gay Times > July 2018 > CHEER NEW YORK.

CHEER NEW YORK.

Cheerleading is more than just pom-poms and chanting, as this New York City-based group prove year after year.

Photography Chelsy Mitchell

If you’re anything like me, you spent your youth furious that cheerleading wasn’t accessible to you because a) you were British, and b) a guy. Perhaps I wouldn’t have skived all those P.E.lessons if the activity had been on the curriculum – I mean, I was basically born to do a double from prep.

Despite the USA still being the great home of cheerleading, where it’s enjoyed by 1.5 million participants in All Star Cheerleading, one group has been battling to offer an inclusive experience for those who want to give it a try. And, most importantly, use the group as a driving force for helping small charities in New York City that are focused on LGBTQ issues and life-threatening illnesses – including HIV and AIDS. Cheer New York was started after the 9/11 attacks by Andrew Jonas in an attempt to bring something good to the city – and more than a decade on, the group are still doing more than just that.

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About Gay Times

Nyle DiMarco is an outspoken activist, actor and model who lives at the intersection of his sexual fluidity and deafness. In our cover shoot with Nyle, artist Cacho Falcon has painted ‘I love you’ in American Sign Language across his body in what we hope to be a strong message of support to the queer deaf community. With nearly 8 million followers on YouTube, and close to 7 million in Twitter and Instagram, Tyler Oakley has become a pioneer of the new wave of social media celebrities, with a global reach that in many cases outshines even the biggest names in film and TV. Here, Tyler speaks on his latest project: Chosen Family, and why queer people need to become aware of their privilege. We’re also partnering with UKBP to raise awareness about the incredible work they do, and the importance of events and organisations such as theirs. We’re constantly learning how to be better allies to everyone across the far reaches of the colourful spectrum that is the queer community, and UKBP as a collective continue to educate and inform us how best to step up to the plate as a truly representative and inclusive company. Lady Phyll and the entire team at UK Black Pride are demonstrating the power of loud, unapologetic unity in the face of hatred and bigotry - often unfortunately from sectors of the LGBTQ initialism. Elsewhere in the issue: Sadiq Khan pens a letter to the LGBTQ people of London; Manevendra Singh Gohil, the first gay Prince of India, on using his platform to raise awareness on LGBTQ issues; Yves on standing shoulder to shoulder with our trans siblings; an exclusive look at the new exhibition Queer Friends; Aaron Altaras on his new role as a footballer coming to grips with his sexuality; Simon Gage reflects upon meeting Alexander McQueen ahead of the release of the upcoming documentary on the fashion icon; plus products, style, fashion, tech, travel, opinion and much more.