– Once a Blue Devil cheerleader, always a Blue Devil cheerleader. Back in the day, I was one of
the first male cheerleaders in Quincy’s history. – You ready?
– Yes. – I’m so excited for this. – Walking back into the high school that I did all of my high
school cheer tryouts in is a very surreal feeling. – Come on Johnny, lead the way! – We’re back in high school! – All right, Oktoberfest is on what day? – [Audience] October 14th! – And the parade starts at? (audience shouts) 2:00 PM, the parade starts at? 2:00 PM. (speech drowned out by audience screaming) – Hi. – Hi guys! – Can you all just give
a huge round of applause for your very own Jonathan Van Ness? (audience shouts) – Kathi! Mrs. Dooley. Hi. – Kathi! Mrs. Dooley. Hi. – Hello.
– Okay but wait. Shall we just do like, a stand
up and cheer or something? I just need like (audience
cheering) please. Okay. I’m really excited for this. (audience cheering) (upbeat cheerleading music) (upbeat cheerleading music) (upbeat cheerleading music) (upbeat cheerleading music)
(spectators laughing) (upbeat cheerleading music)
(spectators laughing) (upbeat cheerleading music) – [Audience] White, blue, white, blue, blue, blue, who are you? Blue and white, blue and white, Quincy High School, we’re all right! – I’m obsessed with you guys. Like, it’s so good to be here and it’s so good to see all
of your beautiful faces. But, really, really, really, this is such a celebration of educators and you have changed so many lives. You have been changing
lives since I was here, you continue to change lives, and I really wanna celebrate you. And I also wanna celebrate And I also wanna celebrate the fact that I’m going
to be cutting your hair. (audience cheering) (audience cheering) (audience cheering) (audience cheering) (audience cheering) – All right, now it’s
our time to take you away because your makeover starts now! (audience cheering) (audience cheering) (audience cheering) (band drumming) (band drumming) – Okay, this looks exactly the same. Hi.
– Well this is all good, except now we have a security office. – Cheerleading was one
of like the only things that really got me through
some of like my darkest times. You know, for 17 years, as
like trapped and sad as I was, I did have so many little pockets of joy where I was performing
and having so much fun and I was just in my skin and loving it, even when when it was hard. How you feeling? – Just completely overwhelmed
(laughs) with excitement, and levels of emotion are just, I am just so proud of you, and I always feel so blessed that we met all these wonderful friends and people. I almost feel a little bit, like you know, undeserving of all this attention, but I know like I’ve worked
hard on just saying thank you. – Well, I just want you to appreciate the endless well of energy that you give everyone around you, and the changes that you make
in people’s lives, and… I was very excited to come,
but I was also very nervous, I was very excited to come,
but I was also very nervous, and, you know, Quincy,
like, ever since I’ve left, and, you know, Quincy,
like, ever since I’ve left, has had a very particular kind
of painful place in my heart, ’cause it was very, as much
as I loved being a Blue Devil and having an experience
here, it was very hard. But one thing that you did, you know, for me and other kids like me, is you always treated me the same as, as if I was like anyone else. And as an LGBT person, I think, you know, so badly like we just want to feel normal, and like not treated differently. You always did that. And, I just feel like my scars were very much healed, like this week. It just, it really is very moving, and you have such a part in that. And you have literally saved
people’s lives, mine included. That is big words that I just said, so I just want you to be able to keep giving back to yourself, so that you can keep
doing what you love to do. – Thank you, ’cause
that, well the arts are a amazing, amazing vehicle to, you know, be able to, you know, cry and emote and bring all those
emotions to the forefront, so that we can all share
what makes us human. – Yeah.
– Like we couldn’t be more, more proud of you, and so
– I love you to pieces, Kathi. Thank you so much.