This question was submitted by one of our readers. If you have a question you want me to answer go here to submit it: Fraternity Advice.
Right now, I am currently attending a community college and I have always thought about joining the Greek life when I transfer to a 4-year university. The problem is, as indicated on the title of this post, I am not particularly…fond of women in a way that heterosexuals are. The question of whether I would even be accepted into a fraternity if I am gay has always been on my mind for a while with nobody to answer it for me, considering that anybody I talk to on a regular basis doesn’t seem all that interested in joining a fraternity/sorority. So, just to give more information as to what I should do, I will tell you a little bit about myself and the reasons of why I want to join. Whoever can help me, I would be so grateful if you would respond to my post, especially if you are already in a fraternity/sorority or if you’re the head of a certain charter.
So, about me, I don’t want to sound like that I am stereotyping myself or anything, but I do have a lot of qualities and traits that what society would expect from a gay guy. For instance, I absolutely adore shopping and I love going to the salon. I always take care of my appearance such as making sure my hair is perfect all the time and I do put on moisturizer as well as concealer and maybe some bronzer and powder as well just to create flawless skin (which is important for even straight guys to do). I love the fashion industry and I enjoy shopping at designer boutiques like Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Burberry. I even have a subscription to Vogue. In fact, I want to point out that even the straightest and most masculine of fraternity members do have a slightest bit of a fashionable trait inside them since they sometimes wear Ralph Lauren polo shirts, am I right? Anyways, continuing, I do have a very noticeable lisp and I do have a very slim build with no athleticism at all. I have no interest in sports whatsoever and I don’t go to the gym to “get swoll” because I don’t think big muscles really fit my persona at all. The only exercise I would be interested in is either pilates or yoga, and maybe running/jogging if I can keep it up. I don’t talk like a “bro” and I don’t say things like, “F*** b****es!!! Yeahhhh!!! Pusssyyyy!!! Whooooo!!!” or whatever, especially those exclamations I just mentioned, obviously, lol. As funny as those guys can be sometimes, I can’t really provide that sense of humor to anybody since that is sooo not me at all. Trust me, it sounds like I should join a sorority instead. Too bad I’m a guy. I do want to mention that I absolutely do not cross-dress, I have never cross-dressed before, nor would I ever do such a thing. I don’t have any problem with cross-dressing, since it is part of the LGBT community. It’s just not something I like doing. I believe that I should also mention that I have never really partied before in high school, and I know that partying is a main event for many social fraternities. I am willing to give it a try and the whole partying scene does sound quite enticing to me, though, I will always keep myself in check when it comes to alcohol.
So, yes, as you can see, a lot of fraternity boys are the polar opposite of what I have just described myself. Now, if you’re wondering why I would join a fraternity in the first place if it seems as if I will be surrounding myself with people that I probably would not have anything in common with, well, I do have my reasons. I heard that going Greek is something that is incredibly fun, enjoyable, and worthwhile. Based on what I found while researching, I will benefit so much from the Greek life and the positive things from my college years will continue after undergraduates, such as having connections for the rest of your life, which is a very good thing. Also, the bonds that I would create with my fellow charter members would be quite special since we do consider each other brothers. This is why I am hoping that I have at least a tiny chance of having something in common with fraternity members so I can experience this sort of friendship with them. I am not wanting to join because I think there would be a lot of attractive guys, mind you, so please don’t get any wrong ideas. I really do want to be part of the Greek system and have a good time during my college years as well as being part of a brotherhood that I know will last forever and ever. Not only that, if I manage to get a bid, I would want to be a role model and let other gay men and women know that, yes, you can join fraternities/sororities, regardless of your sexuality. I do not know if there are any Greek members that are also LGBT, and I feel that there is close to null. So, if there is anybody out there who is already a Greek member, has been a Greek member, or knows the ins and outs about the Greek system, please help me out.
It is impossible for a straight guy to give you advice with 100% certainty because they have never been in your situation. That being said, I will make my best attempt and hope others will contribute their insight and share their experiences in the comments section.
To start, you will not be accepted by every fraternity on your campus. Regardless of your sexual preference, the traits you described will turn off a lot of guys. Realize that this is ok. It is who you are. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a fraternity where you don’t fit in.
Your challenge (and the challenge of everyone going through rush) will be finding the group of guys who like you for you.
It is very possible to find this in chapters of predominately straight guys. You may have to take more of an initiative to make sure the guys know you and your motives for joining a fraternity. This will be time well spent though, because you will be getting to know the guys better at the same time.
In my experiences, I have known one guy who was an openly gay fraternity brother. He was an active, contributing member of his chapter, and the brothers didn’t think anything about him being gay. He held leadership positions and seemed to genuinely love his fraternity experience.
I have also known a couple brothers who were gay, but did not reveal it to anyone but a few of the guys they were closest with in the fraternity. Everyone knew they were gay, and no one really cared or made an issue of it. These guys preferred to keep this part of their life private.
I think the important similarity in all these cases is that the gay guy didn’t put his sexuality in the faces of other brothers. Sure they were gay, but they didn’t flaunt it or make a big deal about it. Because the gay brothers didn’t make it a big issue, the other brothers didn’t as well.
It had to be tough for the gay brothers though, because they did make sacrifices by being in a fraternity of straight guys. They didn’t ever bring dates to fraternity functions. I am sure there were times where they felt awkward or out of place. It is a shame really, but a reality in a lot of fraternity houses.
There is also another alternative that you may feel more comfortable in – gay fraternities. These guys probably share the same interests and challenges that you do, and the bonds you have with these brothers may be stronger than the bonds you will make in other fraternities. This may be a good alternative.
To answer your question directly – if you have the traits that fraternity men look for (leadership, academic achievement, philanthropy, ect) then you will find a chapter that is right for you. Fraternities are looking for men who share the same values and are of high character. If you fit that description, then you will definitely find the right house for you.