By Collin Meyer
How often do you think of the term LGBTQ and Greek Life? Probably never.
Now, for those of you apart of a Greek organization, think of the term LGBTQ and how it relates to your letters. For most people those two terms are quite honestly never discussed or related.
When new students come to school, the idea of fraternities and sororities is based off what they’ve seen and heard throughout their pre-college time. Fraternity men are supposed to drink, party and score the hot girl. Sorority women are supposed to be pretty, cliquey and date the hottest fraternity boy.
Personally, I never felt like I could join a fraternity because I was a gay man. I don’t watch excessive amounts of football, shotgun beers for fun and I definitely couldn’t care less whether Sara the Gamma Whatever was into me. The idea of a ‘gay frat boy’ was nearly taboo for me, especially after I was called a “faggot” when trying to go to a fraternity party with friends. Yet, when I found my Greek organization I realized everything I had previously thought or felt wasn’t true, and due to misconceptions through the media and movies. Surprisingly, I’ve never felt more comfortable around a group of guys in my whole life than I did around my fraternity brothers.
Sadly,that feeling I felt isn’t one that others feel throughout the world. Men and women are often turned away from an organization because of their sexual orientation proving those harsh stereotypes to somewhat be true. Young adults are also often less open with their sexuality forcing them to have to choose to be their true self, or impress their ‘bros’ or ‘the girls.’
My purpose in this letter is to force all members of Greek organizations, and even non-Greek organizations to question whether or not what someone does in bed should be a deal breaker for acceptance. And if it is, realize that the stereotypes you don’t want to see surrounding your organization are due to the close-mindedness you’re emitting. I then want everyone to think about their best friend within their organization. What about that person makes you friends, and whether or not them being gay, lesbian, black or white has any effect on your friendship as a whole.
Be open, be mindful and be respectful. When you say those derogatory words about people, realize you could be hurting your best friend, your brother or sister. At the end of the day we would all do nearly anything for the friendships we’ve made through our organizations, why should we allow sexual orientation to be a deciding factor?
And lastly, to everyone within an organization afraid of being themselves because of fear of judgement from within your organization, realize that at the end of the day, your brothers, sisters and friends will love you for you. The only way you’ll know whether they’re all true friends or not is by being yourself. If people can’t accept, love and welcome you as who you truly are, they’re not the people you want to surround yourself with.
You wear your letters with pride, now be yourself with pride.