We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us the misconceptions people have about cheerleading. Here are their responses to set the record straight.
1. First of all, despite popular belief, know this: Cheerleading is freaking difficult.
2. But at the same time, not every cheerleader is required to do insane flips and tumbles.
3. Not everyone who cheers has to be super peppy and bubbly. You can be April Ludgate and still slay at stunts and flips.
4. Cheerleading is NOT just for girls!
5. And, no, not all male cheerleaders are gay.
6. Being part of a cheer squad has absolutely nothing to do with how smart someone is.
7. It's a huge time commitment.
8. There's a purpose behind the "skimpy" uniforms, and that purpose is safety.
9. And we don't wear our uniforms when we don't have to.
10. Cheerleading isn't just yelling from the sidelines of sports games.
11. Being on a squad isn't just a platform for ~mean girls~ to hang out.
12. And being part of a squad doesn't necessarily mean you have to be Miss or Mister Popular.
13. We don't get special treatment, by any means.
14. Not all cheerleaders are stereotypically skinny.
15. We don't all use pom-poms.
16. And ultimately, we need to end the ongoing, unnecessary debate with this: CHEERLEADING IS A SPORT.
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.