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  #1  
Old 11-06-2011, 05:08 AM
Chratos Chratos is offline
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I'm gay, looking to join a southern fraternity... Help!

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I am transferring to either Duke or UNC or Elon in the Fall next year and am planning on rushing. But Iím gay. Iím not flamboyant or stereotypical. I am not interested in any ďhistoricallyĒ gay-friendly fraternities (if there is such a thing), because they would probably be too liberal for me. So I was just wondering how this will affect my chances for a bid? Now, itís obviously not something Iím going to throw in peoplesí faces and constantly talk about, but when is it appropriate to tell? Should I keep it to myself, or should I be upfront about it right from the start? If I should tell, when should I, and whatís the best way to do it? If my gayness might discourage a fraternity from getting to know me, what could I do to make up for it? Would endowments help or would they be seen merely as economic arrogance? Or is it hopeless, and should I just not even waste my time, and instead apply to some university up north?

Basically, I need any and all advice you all can give me about entering the [southern] Greek system as a gay man.

Sorry for all the questions. Some of them might be stupid. Iíve never done this before, so I appreciate your understanding. Thanks in advance for any help, advice, or suggestions you might be able to give.
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:51 AM
DubaiSis DubaiSis is offline
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There's another thread here, http://www.greekchat.com/gcforums/sh...d.php?t=120694. It's a trainwreck, but you might be able to get a few nuggets out of it.

My perception is, as far back as the 80's when I was in college (a large Midwestern university so admittedly not exactly the same environment), there were a few to several gay men in a lot of the fraternities, although most were probably on the down low. A guy friend of mine laughingly said there were so many of them, him included, the fraternities should have been having exchanges with each other!

There are also a few threads about lesbians wanting to join traditionally straight sororities. You can probably gain some good advice from those as well.

If it were me, I'd probably feel obliged to out myself before pledging, but as in so many other issues mentioned on this board, you don't need to vomit out your life story in the first 5 minutes of a conversation. I think you can probably gauge the atmosphere of a fraternity by attending their events and have a decent idea of how they would handle the news before spilling the beans.
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  #3  
Old 11-06-2011, 10:04 AM
Benzgirl Benzgirl is offline
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Originally Posted by DubaiSis View Post
My perception is, as far back as the 80's when I was in college (a large Midwestern university so admittedly not exactly the same environment), there were a few to several gay men in a lot of the fraternities, although most were probably on the down low. A guy friend of mine laughingly said there were so many of them, him included, the fraternities should have been having exchanges with each other!
Ditto here, but then we went to large midwestern universities. I do think there is still a bias in southern universities, not just for gays but for other races. When I look at pictures of the sororities and fraternities from my university vs. SEC schools I don't see the same diversity that I would see above the Mason Dixon line or in the west.

Now, that is not always the case. I have a very good friend that was president of his fraternity at a small college in the deep south and he not only is gay, but flamboyant.
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  #4  
Old 11-06-2011, 11:17 AM
Xylochick216 Xylochick216 is offline
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My Elon experience is from 2000-2004, but there were several gay men in fraternities when I was there. I'd meet the guys and see how you fit in with them.
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  #5  
Old 11-06-2011, 04:25 PM
violetpretty violetpretty is offline
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Originally Posted by Chratos View Post
Incoming Wall of Text:

I am transferring to either Duke or UNC or Elon in the Fall next year and am planning on rushing. But Iím gay. Iím not flamboyant or stereotypical. I am not interested in any ďhistoricallyĒ gay-friendly fraternities (if there is such a thing), because they would probably be too liberal for me. So I was just wondering how this will affect my chances for a bid? Now, itís obviously not something Iím going to throw in peoplesí faces and constantly talk about, but when is it appropriate to tell? Should I keep it to myself, or should I be upfront about it right from the start? If I should tell, when should I, and whatís the best way to do it? If my gayness might discourage a fraternity from getting to know me, what could I do to make up for it? Would endowments help or would they be seen merely as economic arrogance? Or is it hopeless, and should I just not even waste my time, and instead apply to some university up north?

Basically, I need any and all advice you all can give me about entering the [southern] Greek system as a gay man.

Sorry for all the questions. Some of them might be stupid. Iíve never done this before, so I appreciate your understanding. Thanks in advance for any help, advice, or suggestions you might be able to give.
1. Make sure you transfer somewhere where you'd be happy regardless of whether you go Greek or not. This applies to everyone, really. In other words, don't go to a Northern school solely because you think your chances of being Greek are better.

2. I agree that you don't want to be like, "Hi, I'm Chratos and I'm gay," right away when you get to rush parties, because you are so much more than your sexuality and you want chapters to see that before telling them. Because you are not "flamboyant" and because you're transferring, it might not come up in conversation, and brothers of the chapters might not figure it out. That said, I do think chapter members should know sometime before offering you a bid, that way you know that your orientation is not a problem. I'm sure you can gauge the right timing and way to casually mention it without making it seem like that is your defining characteristic. In other words, let them get to know you first, but do tell them.

3. I went to Maryland, and our chapters are very diverse. This applies to race, religion, socioeconomic status, and among fraternities, sexual orientation.* Although we're below the Mason-Dixon line, I don't think we're very Southern, and Maryland is rather liberal, though the Greeks as a whole are a little more conservative than the rest of the student body.

4. I would tend to think of gifts to the chapters as economic arrogance, and trying to buy a bid, but I'm a yankee sorority woman, so perhaps Southern fraternity men will weigh in on that

Good luck to you!

*I knew several openly gay fraternity men during my time there (2003-2007), but I did notice a double standard in that I didn't know any openly gay sorority women, though I know some that came out after graduating. I don't know if this is more common everywhere, but I think it has to do with the [sad] fact that fraternities and sororities care about what the opposite sex GLOs on their campus think of them. In the eyes of sororities, bidding a gay man won't hurt a fraternity's "status", but fraternities don't want to mix with a chapter labeled as the "lesbian chapter". Just my theory.
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  #6  
Old 11-06-2011, 04:34 PM
Gusteau Gusteau is offline
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*I knew several openly gay fraternity men during my time there (2003-2007), but I did notice a double standard in that I didn't know any openly gay sorority women, though I know some that came out after graduating. I don't know if this is more common everywhere, but I think it has to do with the [sad] fact that fraternities and sororities care about what the opposite sex GLOs on their campus think of them. In the eyes of sororities, bidding a gay man won't hurt a fraternity's "status", but fraternities don't want to mix with a chapter labeled as the "lesbian chapter". Just my theory.
I was just having this conversation with an NPC sorority alumnae, and we both came to the same conclusions. I think it also has to do with the way we (that is, IFC/NPC organizations) conduct recruitment. When your numbers requirements are less stringent their tends to be less stress about how your membership affects performance. Very generally speaking, I believe that men tend to think they can make the fraternity, where women tend to think the sorority makes them - so tent talk becomes a rampant issue for the way a PNM will perceive a group.

/hijack
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  #7  
Old 11-06-2011, 07:53 PM
amIblue? amIblue? is offline
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I think that you may be able to find a chapter that accepts you, if you are really open to multiple options and don't have your heart set on X chapter, but I would also say that to a straight PNM, too.

Endowment would be super tacky. A wonderful thing to do once you're an initiated member, but as a PNM, it would certainly be viewed as trying to buy your way in. Also, don't you want to be accepted for who you are rather than always think that you were only bid because you made a donation?
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  #8  
Old 11-06-2011, 08:31 PM
DrPhil DrPhil is offline
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Originally Posted by DubaiSis View Post
There's another thread here, http://www.greekchat.com/gcforums/sh...d.php?t=120694. It's a trainwreck, but you might be able to get a few nuggets out of it.
That isn't a trainwreck.
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  #9  
Old 11-06-2011, 09:45 PM
Chratos Chratos is offline
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Thanks everyone for your responses. I will take a look at that other thread.

I'm not exactly SET on a certain chapter, but I have done some research and have found a handful that interest me. But I guess I won't really know until I rush and meet everyone. And "diversity" in a fraternity isn't something I care about or pay much attention to; I just want to make some good friends and meet new people.

I've been to a lot of my friends' fraternities parties and fundraisers and community service projects and whatnot, and they all seem really nice (actually going to some fundraiser I was invited to with Lambda Chi on Tues). I just don't know if they'd treat me the same way if they knew I like dudes lol.

Anyways, again, thanks for your responses. I appreciate them.
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Old 11-06-2011, 10:00 PM
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DGTess DGTess is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chratos View Post
Thanks everyone for your responses. I will take a look at that other thread.

I'm not exactly SET on a certain chapter, but I have done some research and have found a handful that interest me. But I guess I won't really know until I rush and meet everyone. And "diversity" in a fraternity isn't something I care about or pay much attention to; I just want to make some good friends and meet new people.

I've been to a lot of my friends' fraternities parties and fundraisers and community service projects and whatnot, and they all seem really nice (actually going to some fundraiser I was invited to with Lambda Chi on Tues). I just don't know if they'd treat me the same way if they knew I like dudes lol.

Anyways, again, thanks for your responses. I appreciate them.
I'll ask you the same thing I ask women considering greek life. Would you really want to be part of a fraternity who didn't like you for who you are?
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Old 11-06-2011, 10:24 PM
amIblue? amIblue? is offline
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Originally Posted by Chratos View Post
Thanks everyone for your responses. I will take a look at that other thread.

I'm not exactly SET on a certain chapter, but I have done some research and have found a handful that interest me. But I guess I won't really know until I rush and meet everyone. And "diversity" in a fraternity isn't something I care about or pay much attention to; I just want to make some good friends and meet new people.

I've been to a lot of my friends' fraternities parties and fundraisers and community service projects and whatnot, and they all seem really nice (actually going to some fundraiser I was invited to with Lambda Chi on Tues). I just don't know if they'd treat me the same way if they knew I like dudes lol.

Anyways, again, thanks for your responses. I appreciate them.
I think as in any large group, you're likely to find guys who are accepting and guys who aren't. I also think that some fraternities will be more likely to have a higher percentage of guys who are willing to be accepting than others.

When you say that you're not interested in "diversity," what does that mean? The more open minded a group is, the more likely your situation will be accepted.

Good luck to you.
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:59 AM
MysticCat MysticCat is offline
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Ditto here, but then we went to large midwestern universities. I do think there is still a bias in southern universities, not just for gays but for other races. When I look at pictures of the sororities and fraternities from my university vs. SEC schools I don't see the same diversity that I would see above the Mason Dixon line or in the west.
Duke, UNC and Elon are not going to be quite like SEC schools. (And LOL at Duke being a southern school.)

Seriously though, my hunch is that some chapters will be comfortable with it, others maybe not as much.

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I'll ask you the same thing I ask women considering greek life. Would you really want to be part of a fraternity who didn't like you for who you are?
Absolutely.
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:03 AM
Ghostwriter Ghostwriter is offline
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Duke, UNC and Elon are not going to be quite like SEC schools. (And LOL at Duke being a southern school.)
I had to laugh at the "Duke being a southern school". Some of us refer to Duke as UNC at New Jersey.

None of these schools have a large number of huge in size Fraternities in the tradition of the SEC schools. Elon is pretty big for the total size of the student population but there are not a lot of Fraternities to choose from either at Elon or Duke.

I venture to guess that all Fraternities have gay members at some time or even at all times. Mine did and there were some in my Fraternity who did not like it at all and stated publicly they would have voted out the gay pledge if they had known.

In many cases this is just not something that is advertised or even admitted to by many Fraternities. I would take caution in how I approached the subject as, when you get right down to it, it is no ones business but your own. Even though we like to believe we are the "enlightened", predjudices are evident in many, if not most, of the organizations.
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:31 AM
MysticCat MysticCat is offline
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I had to laugh at the "Duke being a southern school". Some of us refer to Duke as UNC at New Jersey.
We always said The University of Southern New Jersey at Durham, which I almost put in my earlier post.
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:19 AM
knight_shadow knight_shadow is offline
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We always said The University of Southern New Jersey at Durham, which I almost put in my earlier post.
Lol.

I love the "University of Texas at Norman" references during Texas/OU weekend. I'm glad other states are doing the same.

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