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  #1  
Old 11-26-2005, 05:21 PM
hoosier hoosier is offline
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Go Greek, go gay

Go Greek, go gay
Groundbreaking author visits Atlanta during national fraternity conference with book on gay men in fraternities.

By BUCK C. COOKE
Friday, November 25, 2005


Shane Windmeyer wrote the book on being gay or bisexual in a fraternity — literally.

Actually, he edited two of them. “Brotherhood: Gay Life in College Fraternities” was released in October by Alyson Books. A book on lesbians and bisexuals in sororities is sold separately as a companion to “Brotherhood.”

Windmeyer visits Atlanta Nov. 30-Dec. 3 as a featured presenter at the North American Interfraternity Conference/Association of Fraternity Advisors Annual Meeting.

Windmeyer also hosts a release party for “Brotherhood” for conference attendees and a book signing.

“Brotherhood” is a collection of first-person accounts of gay life in college fraternities. It tackles controversial topics including sex and dating between fraternity brothers. The book reflects the increasing diversity in the fraternity world, featuring gay, straight and bisexual writers from traditional, Latino, Asian and gay fraternities.

“The book offers something for everyone, from professionals working with fraternities and sororities, or a person wondering what it might be like to rush openly gay,” Windmeyer says.

Windmeyer founded the Lambda 10 Project in 1995 with Dr. Pamela Freeman, a faculty member at Indiana University. The group supports gay visibility and acceptance in the Greek world.

“Ten years ago, we would have never talked about rushing as an openly gay rushee. Ten years ago, men were having sex with men in their fraternity, and no one talked about it,” Windmeyer says. “Now, we’re talking about that and addressing those issues, but we leave it open to the reader to make their own decisions.”

Since then, the visibility of gay and bisexual fraternity men has grown, Windmeyer says.

“We have more straight allies,” he says. “Fraternity men are beginning to understand that brotherhood is not just going out drinking. It is about supporting each other and standing behind your fellow members. Being a good brother is being an ally. … If you have a strong brotherhood, you can overcome any homophobia.”

Before Lambda 10 was founded, there were “two or three” groups addressing sexual orientation, Windmeyer says.

“Now we have 18 that have passed policies inclusive of sexual orientation, and we have almost two dozen groups that have educational work dealing with sexual orientation,” he says. “Fraternities are not known for asking for help, so we have tried to forge relationships to make that possible.”

Despite the advances, there is still unbroken ground, Windmeyer says.

“The old men in positions of power, though, are going to do what they do best, and that is ignoring the issues,” he laments.

Sigma Chi Fraternity deserves to be recognized for its advancement of gay issues, and would win the “Gay Is Okay Award” if it existed, according to Windmeyer.

In the past year, a Sigma Chi chapter in Texas was featured on an episode of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.” Another member was on the cover of the Advocate, and the fraternity’s international magazine repeatedly features articles on gay issues.

And Sigma Chi is not alone.

“There are a dozen groups who are trying to be proactive instead of reactive,” Windmeyer says. “Our undergraduate men will continue to push their groups and push [gay] issues to the forefront, and these are the men who will become leaders and politicians and who will pass laws that will allow gay men to live their lives.

“Fraternities can be positive change agents for gay life,” he adds. “You can open up the minds of straight people by being in these groups, and teach them that their lives should be the same in terms of marriage, job security, etc.”

Fraternity men in the future will say “my brother who is gay should have the same things too,” the author says.

more at sovo.com
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  #2  
Old 11-26-2005, 05:29 PM
Tom Earp Tom Earp is offline
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Other Books Out Here!

There are Gay Brothers/Sisters in All Greeks!

Is it a total Surprise?
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Last edited by Tom Earp; 11-27-2005 at 10:04 AM.
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  #3  
Old 11-27-2005, 03:28 AM
Little_0ne Little_0ne is offline
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:|
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  #4  
Old 11-27-2005, 10:39 AM
tp2005 tp2005 is offline
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IDK...they might be pushing the issue more that it needs to be pushed like it is.
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  #5  
Old 11-28-2005, 02:06 AM
lifesaver lifesaver is offline
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I think 'pushing' the issue at the conference he is presenting at is not only accpetable, but timely. Its the AFA - the professional org for greek advisors. Those are the people on the front lines of this issue who deal with this stuff on a weekly basis. I dont think a presentation to them at their annual meeting is 'pushing'. I think its professional of them to have this presentation.

If it was at a conference for 18 year old new members, then I could consider it 'pushing' the issue.
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  #6  
Old 12-01-2005, 10:14 AM
InHocYall InHocYall is offline
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Ridiculous

I hope that nationals are not taking this stuff seriously. This is really pushing the issue far too much, and the fact that some liberal starts shooting his mouth off about fraternities being accepting and tolerant. We are exclusive societies, I cannot beleive that in my organization open toleration of homosexuals would ever be brought up. Last year Sigma Chi magazine had a picture of a shattered cross with regards to an article about gay Sigs. Our founders must have been rolling in their graves.
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  #7  
Old 12-01-2005, 10:33 AM
OPhiARen3 OPhiARen3 is offline
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Re: Ridiculous

Quote:
Originally posted by InHocYall
I hope that nationals are not taking this stuff seriously. This is really pushing the issue far too much, and the fact that some liberal starts shooting his mouth off about fraternities being accepting and tolerant. We are exclusive societies, I cannot beleive that in my organization open toleration of homosexuals would ever be brought up. Last year Sigma Chi magazine had a picture of a shattered cross with regards to an article about gay Sigs. Our founders must have been rolling in their graves.
What is so wrong with be accepting and tolerant? Everyone can learn something from everyone else, if they are willing to do so. If there is someone in your organization that maybe you wouldn't have ever thought you would want to have as a brother, whether because its of sexual orientation or race or religion or whatever, then that's just a challenge for you to try to figure out what it is that you can learn. Deal with it, make the best of the situation, and you might be surprised.

And has it ever occured to you that just because your founders started your organization one way, that doesn't mean it was finished right then? It's up to the brothers who follow them to continue to shape the organization and keep making it better - and that might mean changing some things.
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  #8  
Old 12-01-2005, 04:13 PM
stuckinohio stuckinohio is offline
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Re: InHocYall

Quote:
Originally posted by HornedGreek
I'm a gay man who happens to be al fraternity alum. My first boyfriend happened to be a Sigma Chi. There are gay members in every org, whether you like it or not.
dito... and my boyfriend is a SigEp
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  #9  
Old 12-01-2005, 06:40 PM
OPhiARen3 OPhiARen3 is offline
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Re: Re: InHocYall

Quote:
Originally posted by stuckinohio
dito... and my boyfriend is a SigEp
Buck Cooke, who wrote the article in the original post, is the Greek advisor at my school (Georgia Tech) and he's gay. I just really don't see why it has to be such a big deal.
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  #10  
Old 12-01-2005, 08:49 PM
InHocYall InHocYall is offline
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Sigma Chi was based among other things on Christian values. I do not beleive that true fraternity can thrive when you are looking to 'date' brothers. As a brother in my chapter I prefer to preserve the prestige and tradition that have made us a top tier national fraternity. If you want to go progressive join some 'progressive' fraternity that was founded in 1998. I value tradition and am adapting my life to represent the ideals, not adjusting the ideals to modern times.
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  #11  
Old 12-02-2005, 12:22 AM
PhoenixAzul PhoenixAzul is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by InHocYall
Sigma Chi was based among other things on Christian values. I do not beleive that true fraternity can thrive when you are looking to 'date' brothers. As a brother in my chapter I prefer to preserve the prestige and tradition that have made us a top tier national fraternity. If you want to go progressive join some 'progressive' fraternity that was founded in 1998. I value tradition and am adapting my life to represent the ideals, not adjusting the ideals to modern times.
At Otterbein, every single fraternity has at least one openly gay member. There are no instances of brothers dating brothers. It just doesn't happen. Gay people don't hit on every person they see, just like hetero people don't hit on everyone they see.

You "preserve the prestige and tradition that have made you a top tier national fraternity"...well, guess what, some of that prestige and tradition is the result of brotherhood, which, more than likely, INCLUDES GAY MEN. I'd venture to say that every national fraternity has gay members, it's part of life.

and it's great that you were founded on christian ideals...shouldn't that mean accepting a brother as well? He is initiated in the same bonds as you, no? I'd never deny or denounce a sister because she's a lesbian. I'd never deny or denounce her because she's Muslim or Protestant or Jewish or Agnostic and I'm Catholic. I won't because she wears the same pin I do. She has equal value and standing in the sorority. Obviously, someone in my organization thought her worthy to enter our bonds, and in respect to that, I must trust my sister.

I'd also be denying one of my vows..."To thy own self be true". It's been our motto since 1915. Asking a sister to be anything other than what is in her heart is against our sorority law.

"It is easy to be with people we agree with, but it is enlightening to be with people whom we do not understand."
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  #12  
Old 12-02-2005, 05:44 AM
Jestor Jestor is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by InHocYall
Sigma Chi was based among other things on Christian values. I do not beleive that true fraternity can thrive when you are looking to 'date' brothers. As a brother in my chapter I prefer to preserve the prestige and tradition that have made us a top tier national fraternity. If you want to go progressive join some 'progressive' fraternity that was founded in 1998. I value tradition and am adapting my life to represent the ideals, not adjusting the ideals to modern times.
Homophobic much?

This is a pretty asinine argument, especially since Sigma Chi includes members who aren't any kind of Christian. Should they all be removed for not being Christian?

It's the same basic line of reasoning for gays in a fraternity or sorority.

Furthermore, I don't think most gay men would want to date within their own fraternity, but would seek to date outside the chapter, for reasons that should be fairly obvious.

And just so you know, I'm a moderate on the issue of gay rights. I don't think the country is ready to accept gay marriage, but I could see civil unions gradually spreading to the more liberal and maybe one or two moderate states in the current social climate. (This of course precludes those multitude of states that banned gay marriages with their recent passed amendments.)
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  #13  
Old 12-02-2005, 09:32 AM
SigmaChiGuy SigmaChiGuy is offline
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Don't let this jag portray my fraternity this way. He speaks solely for himself.

Quote:
Originally posted by InHocYall
Sigma Chi was based among other things on Christian values. I do not beleive that true fraternity can thrive when you are looking to 'date' brothers. As a brother in my chapter I prefer to preserve the prestige and tradition that have made us a top tier national fraternity. If you want to go progressive join some 'progressive' fraternity that was founded in 1998. I value tradition and am adapting my life to represent the ideals, not adjusting the ideals to modern times.
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  #14  
Old 12-02-2005, 10:24 AM
OPhiARen3 OPhiARen3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jestor

Furthermore, I don't think most gay men would want to date within their own fraternity, but would seek to date outside the chapter, for reasons that should be fairly obvious.
I know several of the fraternities at GT have policies against dating within the chapter. Is this a common practice?
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  #15  
Old 12-02-2005, 10:37 AM
gpb1874 gpb1874 is offline
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wow. so i guess this guy thinks all sigma chi's are christian and that gays can't be christian. that's a pretty narrow view of the world.

i've been working in student activities for 5 years now and there tend to be a lot of gay men in this field b/c it is very accepting and supportive of everyone who wants to help students grow and develop. we also talk with a lot of students about gay issues, whether it's a group wanting to improve gay presence on campus, a student who is coming out or the college republicans who want a heterosexual celebration.

after meeting a lot of gay professionals and getting to know them, i found out A LOT of them are fraternity members. they didn't join to date their brothers. that's like saying that all fraternity or sorority members must be gay b/c who would want to hang out with a bunch of the same sex all the time? they join for many of the same reasons you and i did, not for an immediate pool of people to date.
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