Chi Phi Fraternity to Accept Transgender Men
Chi Phi Fraternity has announced that it will be first fraternity to allow transgender men into their brotherhood. Chi Phi is one of the oldest American fraternities, having been established in 1824 at Princeton University.
This is a very important announcement for me, because I am a graduate of Berkeley and a brother of Chi Phi. While I attended the University, our fraternity was always more open than fraternities on campus. Our house was diverse and largely respectful of each other’s differences. This was particularly true when it came to ethnicity and nationality. But like all brothers, we fought over things like when to throw parties and who’s turn it was to mop the floors.
Our differences never drifted into things out of our control, like nationality or ethnicity. Berkeley did a great job of informing students about diversity, by simply sitting us down and teaching us how to be respectful of each. Those lessons were given to us in our dorms during the first weeks of our freshman year. It prevented a lot of bigotry born purely of ignorance. Not every bigoted statement you may hear is spiteful, much of it is ignorance. An ignorant bigot can be turned into an ally, if you just turn your cheek and correct the mistake respectfully.
While we didn’t have any openly gay brothers or non cisgender men, while I was an active member of Chi Phi, I am confident that had I been aware of what was I was dealing with internally. The brothers I was closest to, would have rallied around me and made sure I was respected and safe.
I attended Berkeley from 1995-1999. During that time, transgender wasn’t a word anyone ever spoke. I wouldn’t hear of the word until about ten years after I left college. The word bigender which is what I am, I never truly knew what it meant until I made TRANZGENDR. The gender dysphoria was real, but it was always shifting in my mind. It has been a journey to understand myself. For me, I don’t think the solution will ever be to transition, due to by status as disabled veteran. But, I will always be a member of Chi Phi and of this community. And I extremely happy to know, that they’re now both perfectly aligned and respectful of each other.
by SlickLion, TRANZGENDR