Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux teen happy with support system

The following story was written and reported by Richie Richards, Native Sun News Staff Writer. All content © Native Sun News.

Cheerleading Captain Jacob Cousin, back row, center at Red Cloud High School.

Gay teen is happy about support system
By Richie Richards
Native Sun News Staff Writer

RAPID CITY –– While many young men and women played their hearts out at the Lakota Nation Invitational tournaments in Rapid City, it was refreshing to see Jacob Cousin (Oglala Lakota) on the court cheering with the Red Cloud High School (RCHS) cheerleading team.

Bravery is the act of accomplishing a goal so few dare to attempt. In a time when many gay children are being bullied and harassed by others, this outstanding student athlete stood strong and his accomplishments should be applauded.

Jacob Cousin was born in Ft. Lewis, Georgia and moved to Pine Ridge when he was 3 years old. He is a middle child with two brothers; one is in college and the other is a first grader. Jacob takes his station in life seriously, to his brothers he proclaimed, “Thank you for being who you are. You're the reason I grew up to have such a tough skin.”

Despite the many challenges in his life, as a junior at RCHS Jacob has managed to have perfect attendance and be on the honor roll. As a proven leader, he uses his place on the Student Council and Spiritual Formation to inspire others and make change.

When asked how peers reacted to his choice to join the cheer squad, Jacob proudly said, “When I'm cheering there is always people who stare and say things, but the look on their faces is priceless when they see the things I can do. The way I see it is, there is always going to be someone hating on you, it's never going to change and the best you can do is make the most of every situation. I knew when joining the cheer squad there would be people questioning my decision, but I've never been one to let the opinions of others influence my actions.”

While not managing the girls’ varsity volleyball team and being the varsity Cheerleading Captain, Jacob is like any other teen, who “loves hanging out with friends and making memories.” He is in his second year as a cheerleader.

While Jacob is modest about his sexuality, the fact that he is completely content with his place in the world shows his strength. Many children are bullied and harassed which can lead to many challenges in their personal lives, but Jacob chooses to live life and be happy with himself and others.

“If anything, you need a great support system. Hang around people who like you for you, and be yourself.”

(Contact Richie Richards

Copyright permission Native Sun News

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