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NFL's First Male Cheerleader Makes History with the New Orleans Saints

Jesse Hernandez

Jessie Hernandez was the first of three male cheerleaders who joined the NFL this season to take to the field. 

The New Orleans Saints' first male member of the team's dance squad made history as the NFL's first-ever male cheerleader when he debuted with the Saintsations at the Superdome Friday, according to Nola.com

Jessie Hernandez, 25, who's been dancing since he was two, was the first male cheerleader to take to the field as the Saints faced off against the Arizona Cardinals this weekend, but he is one of three men who joined the league this season.

In an interview with the New Orleans Advocate, his mother Tracey Hernandez, who drove from Lafayette, La. to witness her son's debut, said that she was proud of him. He's endured bullying and harassment since he became the first boy to make his high school dance team in his hometown of Maurice, La. years ago.

"Those people just need to get over it," Tracey Hernandez said. "We're in 2018. Things shouldn't be just for men or just for women. If you have the ability to do it, you should be able to do it."

Facebook comments on the feature story about Hernandez's mom were rife with homophobic comments calling Hernandez "Homo," "Pantywaist," and categorizing the Saints move to debut a male dancer as "Sick libturd bullshit."

As for fans at the game, Hernandez's debut appeared to go off without a hitch as he took the field in black skinny jeans and a black and white tee with a fleur de lis in the center.

Watch Hernandez's debut:

Here's Hernandez discussing his audition for the Saintsations last April:

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Tracy E. Gilchrist

Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.
Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.