In honor of National Coming Out Week, we thought we’d seek out some individuals from the LGBT community and ask them what they thought about the interaction between their members and those of the Greek community. Because of the traditions passed down from their original chapters, most Greek life is, unfortunately, geared toward the heterosexual experience, with most events including and encouraging interaction between fraternities and sororities. Nevertheless, the integral part of these organizations is also finding a support system and forming connections with members of a chapter to create an essential sisterhood or brotherhood. But do members of the LGBT community also feel welcome to be part of these organizations enough to be part of both? Mojo asks students to find out:
Bryan Ceron, third-year Middle Eastern studies student
First off, would you ever consider joining a fraternity or a gay fraternity?
Being queer is part of who I am, but I don’t know if I would join a gay frat. I don’t really want it to be the only thing that defines me. The reason I never joined a frat is because I’m way too busy still working on myself to give so much time of myself to an organization.
Do you feel the frat culture is accepting of gay brothers?
I know frats are required to have sensitivity training to certain things. That being said, I believe everyone is an individual and there will always be someone who just doesn’t find me morally just or whatever it be the case. Frats have a lot of stigmas associated to them; I know the Greek system does a lot of philanthropy, but I could never look past the bad that is becoming too often reported.
While that is true as well, there have also been stories of gay members in sororities and fraternities finding a lot of unexpected support from their organizations. Would you believe this can happen without there always being someone to oppose you?
You will always find someone who doesn’t like you – it’s a fact of life. It might not have to be because of the person’s sexuality but because of the way they brush their teeth. I love the acceptance. Anyone would if they were seeking it. Someone people don’t care what others think and it could mean less to them, and then others could have been disowned by their family so it means the world to them. There’s always a different perspective to it.
I believe the greatest point we can all achieve as individuals will be when this isn’t something worth reporting on, when it just becomes a regular occurrence for a gay member not to be treated differently whether it be in frats or any other part of society. The issue is that when people look at me or other members of the queer community all they see is our sexuality first and forefront as an identifying marker of who we are. We just wanted to be seen as normal human beings who are judged on our morals and ethics and character not who we might or might not fall in love with.
Would you ever date a frat boy?
The answer to your question is yes, I would date a frat guy. But only because I personally believe I would be falling for an individual not an organization.
Anonymous art student
What is your impression of sororities and sorority girls?
I would say that a lot of the functions that sorority life brings about doesn’t really appeal to the typical homosexual, like the frat parties and stuff.
Would you be afraid that homosexuality wouldn’t be accepted by other individuals in Greek life, be they your sisters, other women in other sororities, guys in frats or even the general public? It’s definitely breaking a stereotype.
Well, I probably would feel a pull to not join because of it. I would feel like I am an outcast and not truly fully accepted, just based off the stereotypes of Greek living.
So you wouldn’t ever consider joining Greek life?
I think if I were to seriously consider joining, it would have to be a super open and accepting sorority group and I would be super picky about which one I chose.
Would you consider dating a girl who is in a sorority considering the typically heterosexualized stereotypes?
I have found a few of sorority girls who were interested, more than I ever expected. But nobody was ever interested in a serious relationship with another female. It is surprising to meet a girl who is in a sorority and also is interested in other women. It just doesn’t seem to fit the mold, but that’s great!
During this special week, we’re celebrating the boldness of coming out. A huge thanks to those who were open enough to contribute to this article in the effort of opening up Greek life to our LGBT brothers and sisters! Have something else to say? Comment below or tweet us @dbmojo.