What It’s Like Being a Lesbian in a Sorority

Going through sorority recruitment, I didn’t think about how being gay made me different. I honestly thought being from the North was what made me stick out. I didn’t wear Lily Pulitzer, and I had no idea what Jack Rogers were. While I got a crash-course in Southern style during recruitment, it wasn’t until I was in the sorority that I realized I was afraid to come out to my sisters. I was out to other friends, but it took me longer with the girls in the sorority. Even with the girls I was friends with, I was worried – since Southern sorority girls don’t exactly have a rep for being the most tolerant to minorities. After a few months, I came out to my big and my friends in my pledge class. I shouldn’t have been worried at all, because everyone was so nice about it. Now I’m so obnoxious about the fact that I’m gay that it’s a bit of a running joke with my friends. I’ve never had someone be rude to my face about it, though there is the occasional intolerant article shared on Facebook. I’m not sure every chapter would be so accepting, so I’m very lucky.

Acceptance is wonderful but being the only lesbian in a sea of straight women can get lonely. All my friends in high school were straight, but it’s different when you’re out. Unsurprisingly, straight girls talk about boys a lot. I just can’t relate when they talk about fraternity functions or the latest cute guy they met downtown. It’s much harder when you’re a lesbian to find people who want to be more than friends. I can’t exactly go out and find a random person for a one-night stand like my straight friends can. I think it’s hard for heterosexual people to grasp how lonely being gay can be. While I have a sense of female community with my chapter, I lack LGBT community that they say is so important. It can be hard to meet LGBT friends at our Southern school.

A lot of times I’m the first gay person the girls in my chapter have met. I get a lot of questions, which I don’t mind answering as long as they’re not overly intrusive or rooted in bigotry. While it’s not my job to teach straight women about the LGBT community, I understand it’s natural to be curious and ask questions. Of course, there’s a big difference between a friend asking me if “gaydar” is a real thing and a random guy asking me how I have sex. Pro tip: don’t do the second one.

Overall, I think being in a sorority has been very beneficial for me. It’s obviously not for everyone, but I’ve met a lot of amazing people because of it. I’m very happy with my decision to go Greek. I would say it’s changed me for the better, and I hope that my affiliation has helped change Greek life for the better. 

Maryland native attending college in South Carolina

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