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Gay men in Fraternities

  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jul 16, 2007 1:17 AM GMT
    So, I'm constantly asked by people what my experiences have been like being gay and in a Fraternity. So many people assume U.S. Frats are all animal-house-esque, homophobic (how they get that I'm unsure) havens of hazing, etc...

    So, I was wondering if there are any Frat-guys out there besides myself who'd care to share their experiences. Mine have been nothing but positive, and it was actually my fraternity brothers who helped me to come out to my parents and family. I love those guys like no other. We throw some kick-ass parties, and get into our share of trouble, but hazing is non-existant (in my house we don't see the positive outcome in making people feel like shit).

    Anyways, I'm just curious, and I'd love to hear back from y'all.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jul 16, 2007 3:45 AM GMT
    I'm in a fraternity also and open to everyone in there. Most would percieve them as to be homophobic individuals, but they're totally cool with it and are extremely supportive of me and my lifestyle.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jul 16, 2007 3:53 AM GMT
    It's proven that fraternity brothers are most likely to accept you if you come out AFTER you are initiated and a member of the fraternity.

    They are less likely to extend a bid to you if you are openly gay and rushing.
  • Chewey_Delt Posts: 1363
    QUOTE Jul 16, 2007 4:02 AM GMT
    I'm in a Fraternity as well. I've been out since I came to college and made it well known to what would become my Fraternity that they would have to accept me as I am. It has never been an issue with any brother since I've joined.

    As with your experience, cmon, mine has been nothing but positive. The old, good ol' boy, WASP, hazing fraternities image is increasingly changing to become far more diverse, including being open to gays. Not that the stereotypical fraternities aren't still out there, but it's becoming less common.

    I think being in a Fraternity is one of the great, formative college experiences. Gays should no longer feel afraid to be join a Fraternity for fear of not being accepted for their sexuality. From the most butch to the most flamboyant, I've seen all types of gay boys in fraternities at my college.

    Also, post your Fraternity.

    Delta Tau Delta
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jul 16, 2007 5:59 AM GMT
    I'm out to my brothers as well.

    They treat me just the same as they always have. I actually think that it made them like me more once I opened up...

    I dont understand trying to hide who you are from a group of people who are so close to you. Especially if you live in. I dont know how I would begin to hide that lol


    Sigma Phi Epsilon
    "SigEp"
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jul 16, 2007 6:22 AM GMT
    Eons ago, when I was president of my pledge class there was a brief incident. I had transferred to the school and only pledged in my junior year. I wore the only full beard that wasn't on the faculty, and the brothers had considered but rejected the idea of holding me down and shaving it. I wasn't out to anybody, but I only got dates for big affairs.

    It was about 8 weeks before graduation, (2 weeks before initiation (we didn't know of course))and at a finish-the-keg after the party party. Brothers and pledges only just sitting around. I didn't drink when supervising party activities, but everybody else was both tired and lubricated.

    Out of the blue, the good looking chapter president (9 a senior) said, "Lee, I want to sleep with you."
    It was a fart in church moment. Every one heard him. They heard him repeat it after I said "What did you say?"
    His roommate immediately said " We are all tired and ought to go to bed." The roommate was definitely trying to hush up the situation.

  • atxclimber Posts: 480
    QUOTE Jul 16, 2007 6:33 AM GMT
    I'm a Sigma Nu, myself. Had a great experience with the house, was never, ever discriminated against or whatever, but then again, there were several gay brothers in the house. And the resultant drama you'd expect, with relationships internal to the house and all that.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jul 16, 2007 6:53 AM GMT
    Haha, I hear ya Atx, there are four gay brothers in my house, although we all have a very strict "no dating within the house" rule, lol. It's unofficial, but we all know way too much about one another to make it work...that, and we're all like family, so yeah. Wouldn't work out. I dated a Sigma Nu last year though, haha. I still have one of your ritual books, lol. Oops.

    Anyways, keep em coming guys, I'm enjoying the answers.

    btw, I'm a Sigma Chi.

    EX!
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jul 16, 2007 7:04 AM GMT
    With the president holding my hand, we all went up stairs. As the entire chapter passed us, I gave him a big kiss full on the lips, and told him "Put on your pajamas and come to my room."
    He said " Why pajamas?"
    "Because I like to unwrap the package myself."
    One of my pledge brothers followed me to my room and said "Lee they can't make you do this."
    " No one is making me do anything, because nothing is going to happen. It is just a big joke that I'll push farther than they will."
    Nothing did happen. He either passed out, forgot it when he got to his room, or his roommate locked him in.
    At breakfast one of the pledges ask me "What happened last night?"
    "Nothing, I got stood up. Damn it."

    Nothing more was ever said about the incident.

    Everyone got initiated and the president graduated. (At the pledge formal he introduced me to his fiance (my competition)). He married her 4 years later at the end of his Air Force tour.) Later, I tried to get more info on him. All I got was one brother calling him a "very mixed up kid."

  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jul 16, 2007 7:06 AM GMT
    Zeta Psi.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jul 16, 2007 2:07 PM GMT
    i was in two frats. Gamma Alpha Upsilon and Gamma Alpha Epsilon. we all batted from the left side.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jul 16, 2007 2:11 PM GMT
    going greek in college was one of the best decisions i made. my frat brothers are awesome.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jul 16, 2007 2:48 PM GMT
    My Husband is a frat guy. Actually his frat brother was his first BF, of 6 years. The brother is married now (had to in order to receive his trust fund). He loves it and still won’t share all the secrets with me, but in his day there was plenty of hazing. He was never out of course. And he speaks of the hazing fondly. Kidnappings, cow manure, spankings.
    I don’t really understand the draw of fraternities. I’m coming close now to seven years in the military and I could never picture myself in a fraternity. What is it? Does it stem from a desire to be part of a larger group or a search for an identity? I understand there is a national gay fraternity as well these days.
    I’ll be going to school full time next year but I won’t be rushing.
  • Chewey_Delt Posts: 1363
    QUOTE Jul 16, 2007 3:26 PM GMT
    For a lot of guys (at least, a lot of the guys in my Chapter) joining a Fraternity is an exercise in shared values. I joined my Fraternity for the same reason that I have been involved with a lot of other organizations. The Chapter and the brothers all shared a core set of values that drew me in, and I could see those values exemplified in their actions; specifically, their commitment to academics and community service while still maintaining a social aspect.

    That being said, the experience of a Fraternity is definitely not the same as other organizations, because it's most often much tighter than other organizations. I think that adds to the appeal, because when you join a Fraternity you instantly have a vast network of men that you at least have this one thing in common with, so you can instantly connect on at least some level with members of other Chapters, but also other Fraternities. That network comes in very handy. When I worked for HRC I met a Delt working there that I could instantly connect with and that helped me whenever I needed it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jul 16, 2007 6:46 PM GMT
    I guess I dont really need a fraternity then, as I'm a member of the oldest and largest in the world, the US Army! :D
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jul 16, 2007 6:54 PM GMT
    I joined ATΩ in 1970 - I had not intended to pledge anything, but my father pushed me into going through rush - he didn't require me to pledge - just go through the process and give it a try. One of his better ideas...

    Some of my brothers were very homophobic, and coming out to them would have been a bad idea. Others, including my big brother (fraternity big brother, that is) were very secure and very open. A couple of guys in my pledge class were also gay, but deeply closeted.

    They stuck by me through some difficult times - at my father's funeral, after a long string of Cadillacs & Lincolns came a ragtag group of beat-to-shit cars packed with my brothers. They surrounded me, helped me, and even helped with my mother afterwards. It was amazing.

    The fraternity was great, and I'm glad I joined. But now that it's 30+ years later, I have very rare contact with any of them, and very little in common. Maybe that's the way it goes...but I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jul 16, 2007 7:24 PM GMT
    Yeah.... no. You all have great positive stories. Fanny how that works. I guess my school was different.

    After being told that they originally didn't want me because one very vocal person was uncomfortable with it they let me in. But, luckily, hazing never happened, but traditions did. Long story short, I survived frosh year with only a few permanent scars.

    Everything was fine until Junior year when some peeps that I got in with decided they no longer wanted a gay to be with them. Systematically they went out pushing me out of the org, until finally I was sat down and told by the group (most of whom could not make eye contact) that they no longer felt I was a good fit.

    Come to find out several have since come out and the org's fine with it. It was just mean and the leaders (who all pledged together) and they basically did not like the fact that they would be represented to the larger community by a homosexual. Others might assume they were too.

    So, yeah, glad to hear people had better experiences than I did.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jul 16, 2007 8:52 PM GMT
    I'm very interested in reading accounts of some of the hazing that went/goes on. My roomie in college (THE campus stud) told me some interesting stories. Pretty sexy stuff. Anybody know where I can find such reading or info?
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jul 16, 2007 9:10 PM GMT
    Hmm, well my house doesn't Haze, but like one person mentioned, it does have traditions. Perfectly harmless. However, if a house is worth being apart of, its members keep such things secret. Many people think it's us trying to be elite and whatnot, but it's really just keeping that which makes us "us" to ourselves. No one else would really understand the value of such things, so why know about them? It's like knowing a fraternity's ritual, it does you no good unless you've experienced it as a group...there's no importance to an outsider.

    As far as finding reading online or something, I'm sure you can find old-timers' war stories from back in the day before the law punished hazing so harshly, but anything from nowadays that you find, will most likely be false. Most Fraternity Headquarters (national or International HQ) have men working for them whose job it is to make sure nothing compromising about secrets or whatever is on the net. Just wanted to let you know...don't believe most of what you see on the internet, especially about things like ritual, etc.
  • Soundwave Posts: 1121
    QUOTE Jul 16, 2007 9:12 PM GMT
    I actually met the brother who rushed me through our "Prideguard" week at school - lmao, we sat around 'guarding' the rainbow flag for GLOW and just started talking...then I hung out with the brothers for halloween, and it all kinda...went from there, lol.

    On another note, I'm totally stoked for convention this year though - any other Zetes on here that are coming? I'm fully registered, going to everything - me and my brothers are road-tripping it from Waterloo, Ontario down to Nebraska. hahahahaha.
    Seriously though, I love being in a fraternity. Especially mine - we're a pretty young chapter so like, everything we do is basically shaping the future of our chapter. It's a pretty cool feeling knowing that you're putting in place the foundations, on the building blocks of your brothers world-wide.

    Lol, so yeah. All in all, being gay in a fraternity is freaking awesome. Even the other frat on campus (Sigma Chi) is totally open to homos as well. All in all, it's something I think everyone should look into - it may not be for you, but you still meet tons of cool people.

    Oh yeah, I'm in Zeta Psi, lol.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jul 16, 2007 9:12 PM GMT
    I was pretty much out to my fraternity. Some guys were in shock when they heard I was gay but most were pretty cool with it as far as I know.

    As far as hazing, we didn't do anything too crazy. Just normal stuff like crazy scavenger hunts and dark ceremonies. We had the school on our ass one year for hazing but we were probably the most low key fraternity there. I have heard some crazy stories in other fraternities, especially the paddling part. YIKES!
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jul 16, 2007 9:17 PM GMT
    Most of the Sigma Chi chapters I've visited, including my own, have seemed very tolerant. I have yet to find an intolerant chapter...although, I'm quite positive a few exist, haha. Just haven't found them yet.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jul 16, 2007 9:27 PM GMT
    I know that on my campus.. the Sigma Nu house was a no go. As in, if you were gay, don't even make an appearance to a party. ATO also had a few citations for hate crimes against them by the time I was done with school.

    Personal, the hazing thing.. when I was going through it, I am not sure it was a bad thing. Everything was fine when I started. Oddly it was my peers that eventually pushed me out. Alumni were fine with me, and other older classmates were fine. Unfortunately that year my peers and I were the leaders. It just didn't go over well.

    As for the hazing/traditions. I OPENLY talk about it. I mean, I went to school looking to fit in and if I was told that I didn't have to do some of what I did to fit in I might not believe people. Plus, most of the hazing ENDED in a good way, but the process was rough. I also know that what happened to me didn't always happen to others.
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jul 17, 2007 3:36 AM GMT
    I had a great experience being in a fraternity while in college (pledged Fall '98, graduated Summer '03).

    In the beginning I was not out to anyone at all (had a girlfriend, etc), except for one brother who was openly gay. Eventually I found out that one of my pledge bro's was gay, so that was cool/comforting.

    After a year or so, I slowly started telling a few people... some of my close friends in the group... None of them had any problems with it.

    Then in 2001....
    I decided to come out to the fraternity as a whole... and the brothers responded with support and encouragement (crap I was scared!!!!)
    My fraternity bro's started calling me, emailing, etc... making sure I was okay, making sure no one in the group had issues, etc... it was GREAT!

    Oh yeah... almost forgot... everyone except for one bro... my "lil bro". He totally flipped out... told me to F*** off, never talk to him again, how could I do this to him, etc.......
    Well... I tried talking to him a few times over the next few days, but that did not accomplish anything. I was good friends with his girlfriend at the time, and great friends with his best friend from HS (who was also a bro)... between those two and a BUNCH of other fraternity brothers, he finally came around and decided to talk to me about everything instead of disowning his "big-bro".

    After a week of him flipping out, and with the fraternity's support, things went back to normal between us. To this day (and this happened back in 2001) we are great friends! We joke about it every once in a while (well, he gets drunk and tells me how sorry he is for acting like a prick, etc.., and I give him a hard time, jokingly) and we have a drink to "brotherhood"!
  • Posted by a hidden member.Log in to view his profile
    QUOTE Jul 17, 2007 3:48 AM GMT
    See, this is the side of Greek Organizations I'd like people to see, instead of just the partying and "hazing" and other crap that's only social! I love stories like that, and I'm glad to hear your little came around, haha. My big actually had positive changes when I came out to the Frat...he was born in Israel and had a very conservative viewpoint, used to say he could never be true friends with a gay man. After I came out, he apologized though, and said he stood corrected. It was a good experience for both of us.