Desiree Sol of West Hollywood is still cheering—but now she’s doing so with a new squad.
Previously a member of the West Hollywood Cheerleaders (aka WeHo Cheer), which is comprised largely of men performing in drag, Sol left this year for a new cheer initiative. She joined with five other founding members to create West Hollywood Elite Cheerleaders (WeHo Elite), a squad meant to be inclusive of LGBT people as well as straight allies. The squad is now 15 members strong.
“Our squad certainly has different personalities on it as we have budding singers, emerging drag queens, national title winning cheerleaders, community activists and accomplished professionals. We are charitable cheerleaders and raise money for and awareness for a variety of causes that affect us,” Sol wrote in an article submitted to WEHOville.com.
“We have raised monies and awareness for The Trevor Project, Black Velvet films, AIDS Healthcare Foundation and other HIV/AIDS organizations, City of West Hollywood Toy drive and SB Presents/West Hollywood Schools/Back to school drive, and World Literacy Day. As you can see, we support a broad array of causes as our community is made up of so many different people.
“You may also have seen the West Hollywood Elite cheerleaders at local events in the community raising funds for local charities via our cabaret shows. We have partnered with local businesses and local talent to give back to the community … We strongly believe in promoting local comedians, singers, drag acts and musicians and increasing revenue for our local businesses. Charitable cheerleading raises monies and awareness for charities and causes and also gives back to the community.”
WeHo Elite participated in Long Beach Pride, L.A. Pride, San Francisco Pride and San Diego Pride and plans to take part in Las Vegas and Palm Springs Pride. Two squad members had the opportunity to dance in the Demi Lovato music video for “I Really Don’t Care.”
The squad is always welcoming new members, Sol said, and the best way to inquire is by sending a Facebook message to West Hollywood Elite Cheer and Entertainment Squad to arrange to attend a practice.
Sol is a transgender activist who is active in WeHo civic affairs. She serves on WeHo’s Public Safety Commission, and state Assemblymember Richard Bloom named her the 2014 Woman of the Year for the 50th Assembly District. WeHoLife.org, a project of the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the City of West Hollywood, recently released (Trans)formative: A Day in the Life of Desiree Jade Sol, a short biographical video about her life.