Tug of War: Greek & Gay

In the past, I have questioned myself countless times about if I would ever write a blog addressing the matters of homosexuality in Greek life because of the thin line that it crosses for me as I am a lesbian and indeed a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., but I have begun to believe that a blog of this caliber is long overdue. 

Recently, as I've taken the time to browse through social media, I've come across some very interesting taglines, as well as a large amount of expected slander that came along with them:

“The Rudeboys of Kappa Omega Phi Fraternity, Inc. Shoulders wet or nah?”

“Calling all studs…masculine women…do you have what it takes…or are you interested in learning more about the bruhs of Omicron Psi Omega, Inc.”

Members of Kappa Omega Phi Fraternity, Inc. wear crimson and cream while they shimmy like Nupes, and members of Omicron Psi Omega, Inc. wear camo shorts with gold boots while they hop like Que dawgs. Both of these organizations are for women, and raise the question of why they chose to make their own organization despite the numerous amounts of LGBTQ fraternities and sororities like Omicron Epsilon Pi Sorority, Inc. 

We can be offended all we want by this because there has been a line crossed when it comes to organizational respect, but who’s really at fault? I can blame them, but I, too, blame our Black Greek Letter Organizations (BGLOs) for making it excruciatingly hard for people of the LGBTQ community to become members because of how they look and not what they can offer. I am not an advocate for allowing women into fraternities nor men into sororities; however, I am challenging why you want to be mad at the formation of these organizations when your actions to disregard the interest of those that come from the LGBTQ community are partially what led them to that very moment. BGLOs seem to have this “don’t ask, don’t tell” mentality when it comes to sexual preference proven by the countless bisexual and femme lesbians and the down-low brothers, but when it’s visually evident that an interest of the LGBTQ community wants to join the fraternity/sorority, all bets are pretty much off. Keep in mind, we’re speaking about the GDIs that actually have the guts to express their interest or attend rush because they haven’t allowed the unlabeled discrimination to block their vision. 

So what exactly are the BGLOs scared of? Are you scared that gays will make a mockery of your letters? That if a stud doesn't make her appearance more girly and shaves her legs, that she cannot comprehend that the Green Enameled Ivy Leaf comes with 20 pearls, nor could she understand that "Intelligence is the Torch of Wisdom"? That if a man decides to lay down with another man after he has completed the work of his organization, that he cannot understand the symbolism behind the Great Sphinx of Giza, nor can he grasp that "Friendship is Essential to the Soul"? Where in the guidelines of becoming a prestigious member of any of the BLGOs does it fit in your mission that you must make one lose themselves as they add to you? That you'd rather want them to be their true selves out of your sight, while they stand next to you and assist you in fulfilling your mission to serve the community? Let’s take a shot at transparency here... How can you effectively AND efficiently serve the community while alienating the numbers within your own that are a precise representation of part of the community you plan to serve just because they don’t fit within your lifestyle and appearance ideals? 

So what does that mean for the ones who get a chance to make it? Well, let’s consider those like me the knot in the middle of a tug-of-war rope. The happy medium between being a sellout and never forgetting who we are. The lucky ones that earned our letters while we still face the side eyes and ridicule by our own sorority “sisters” and fraternity “brothers” even after we cross. The individuals deemed the jewels of the LGBTQ community that ideally made it out the hood when no one else could but barely slipped through the cracks of countless debates – not because of what we could bring to the table, but what we lack to others in appearance. 

"I don't know if you understand the magnitude of what you did the other night, but if you do not…let me explain. I quickly learned the politics once arriving at this school, so a once very involved individual with bright ideas and great leadership skills became a chill and laid back soft-spoken person because no one wants to hear what a gay person has to say. When it came to being Greek, now that was a no-no, especially being a stud – unless you were lucky enough to have Zeta in your heart. I know a lot of great people who would have been a great asset to several sororities and tried out for them several times but never made it. Many of those studs feel that their appearance and lifestyle played a major part in their rejection. I remember saying that it is going to take the perfect person to break down these barriers, and in you came, you were literally perfect. Perfect GPA, winner of numerous awards, and just a well-rounded individual. Heck, I heard you were our Valedictorian! But it's a shame that my old school mentality still said, "Yeah, she's perfect, but let's see how far they will allow her to go." Now, it's no secret that this school has no secrets, so when I heard that you were trying to be Greek, I prayed so hard for you to get it, while simultaneously trying to get rid of my own doubt. How could you not? You were perfect, but again, you just never know. So once I heard that you were in, I was elated because if anybody deserved it, it was you. I’m proud of you for staying true to who you are which makes me more proud to be me. Congratulations! You killed it! Thanks for shaking things up around here. I think this could be the start of something great. I think you’ve inspired the younger studs at this school to do more and be way more.”
-    Anonymous

A message sent to me a few days after I crossed.