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LGBTQ+ Greek Organizations: What You Need To Know

Greek life is meant to be an exciting, empowering part of your college career. When you pledge a Greek organization, your whole college experience changes. You find like-minded people who share the same values that you hold close, and it’s like a home away from home. The LGBTQ+ community is definitely not excluded from the impactful world that is Greek life. While many mainstream Greek organizations are inclusive and accepting of their queer members, there are also organizations specifically created for the LGBTQ+ community.

So for those of you queer women who are still trying to decide whether or not you should rush or simply join a Greek service and philanthropy organization, here’s your personal guide to LGBTQ+ Greek organizations and why they might be a wonderful fit for you.

1. Gamma Rho Lambda (GRL) National Sorority

Founded: Arizona State University in 2003

Chapters: 8

Colors: Purple and Black

Known For: “The first national multicultural lesbian sorority”

How to join: Rush

What makes them stand out: Gamma Rho Lambda distinguishes itself from many other LBT Greek orgs because it is open to women of all gender identities and sexual orientations, as well as tailoring itself specifically to collegiate women.

Garance Merholz from the Zeta Chapter at the University of California, Los Angeles says that GRL not only helped break down the stereotypes she had in mind about Greek life but it also had a huge impact on her college experience.

“GRL has provided me with a circle of people who really understand me and who don’t judge me for who I am,” Garance says. “Through them, I have been able to build my own little community and realized that I am part of something bigger, that we can really do something to make the world a more open and compassionate place.” 

2. Alpha Lambda Zeta Fraternity

Founded: Houston, Texas, and Atlanta, Georgia, in 2006

Chapters: 6

Colors: Wine, Black and Opal

Best fit: For masculine-identified lesbians

How to join: Submit a letter of interest

What makes them stand out: This organization is based on five principles: fraternal sisterhood, political activism, community volunteerism, erudition, and professionalism. One of their philanthropies is the Lambda Action Network, a national community service initiative that provides services such as LGBT youth mentoring. This national professional fraternity isn’t just involved in service, but they’re also down for political activism as well.

3. Alpha Pi Delta Sorority

Founded: Dallas, Texas in 2010

Colors: Royal Purple, Impeccable Turquoise and Onyx

How to join: Submit a membership interest request form

What makes them stand out: Alpha Pi Delta is well known for its philanthropy, the C.A.L.L.A. Ladies (the Cultured, Astute, Loving, Leading, Academic Ladies). “This program serves as the foundation for young women to develop the essential skills to achieve success in daily relationships, school and work,” their site says.

4. Kappa Alpha Lambda Sorority, Inc. (KALSI)

Founded: Clark Atlanta University in 2003

Colors: Pink, Black and Pearl

Best fit: For the “professionally sophisticated, classy, feminine lesbian”

How to join: Submit the KALSI interest application

What makes them stand out: KALSI has a five-facet philanthropy program, including civil equality for LGBT people, diversity and tolerance education, health awareness, economic empowerment, and leadership preparation and development. This organization of empowered ladies prides itself on being the only LGBT organization to develop a financial education program, arrange a strategy meeting with a state congressional official, and to initiate action in protest of human rights violations in Darfur, Sudan.

5. Theta Pi Sigma

Founded: University of California, Santa Cruz in 2005

Motto: “Death Before Conformity”

Chapters: 6

How To Join: Rush

What makes them stand out: Theta Pi Sigma is known as the first all-gender Greek organization intended to “strengthen Greek life by providing a vehicle for positive leadership, change, and growth in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, questioning, and asexual community.” Here, members can form tight-knit friendships with other queer individuals and enjoy LGBTQ+ social events including queer prom.

Whether or not you decide to rush a Greek-letter organization is your own personal decision, but it’s always exciting to know that you can find an organization with people to whom you relate on a more personal level.

“LGBTQ+ Greek life is still crucial because many people out there are still in search of a safe space and don’t even know that they exist,” Garance says. “It is important because it allows individuals to be involved in LGBTQ+ activism while getting educated about things that really matter to them and meeting real people with real stories. I think Greek life overall is beneficial for college students to find their space and associate with peers who understand them and pursue similar passions.”

While these might not be the mainstream sororities you see on television, they have everything that every Greek organization should: supportive communities where you can potentially find love, support and, most importantly, a new family to call your own.

Barbara Gonzalez is a recent grad of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she majored in Journalism and Mass Communications with a minor in Chican@/Latin@ Studies. She hails from New York City, and yes, that does mean Manhattan. Her obsessions consist of writing down anything that comes to mind, YA novels, and anything with pink on it. You can tweet her and follow her on instagram @ohhaibarbie
Gabriella Diniz is an Art student concentrating in Graphic Design at Bridgewater State University.