Most of the people who know me know that I’m in a sorority – mostly because I never shut up about it. But let’s be real, when you’re in a sorority as great as Sigma Kappa Tau, why would you want to shut up about it?
Okay, I admit, that sounds a little (read: a lot) like bragging. Even still, I really love this crazy group of people — And I want you to note how I said people.
See, I’m genderfluid and I mainly present as masculine. I’m a male who chose to be in a sorority and I’m not just an honorary senior. I’m an active member and my gender is respected. I was the first transgender student on my campus to pledge while out — I hate bragging usually, but it’s actually a really big deal in our current society. And being able to have done it? I’ll be completely honest, it helps that I was DFAB (designated female at birth) and still wanted to be in a sorority and not a frat. But even despite that, internalized transphobia is still prevalent in society and so there was no guarantee that I would get invited to join a sorority or that I would be respected within said sorority. Hell, there was a part of me that was terrified that no one would invite me to pledge. And that’s why it means so much to me that the KTs did exactly that.
I’m not the first transgender member to have been in our ranks, either. So when I pledged? I was respected as very much Not Female because this wasn’t their first rodeo. The coolest thing about the KTs is that we’ve learned how to celebrate feminity and sisterhood through our group without alienating our non-female members. Yes, we’re a sorority first and foremost, and as of right now those of us who are not female are DFAB, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t open to those who are DMAB (designated male at birth) wanting to be more than just honorary members. Our school allows anyone to rush for either the sorority side of Greek Life or the fraternity side regardless of gender, as long as they’re confident in their choice (trust me on this, I spoke with them in detail to make sure that they weren’t lying about this policy). If someone who was DMAB, transgender or not, chose to go through the recruitment process, we would treat them the same way we would those who are DFAB.
I’m still considered a sister and our Sweethearts – senior guys that we invite to be honorary members – are still considered sisters. You don’t have to be female to be a part of our sisterhood, you just have to respect that we started as primarily female and uphold our values. And our values say nothing negative about gender.
But gender isn’t the only reason I love the KTs.
I’m the type of person who’s always known what it’s like to be the outcast of a group. Kids aren’t stupid, you know. Even at a young age, I knew I wasn’t very well liked by my peers. After all, who wants to talk to the weird girl who acts kind of like a boy? Who doesn’t feel awkward around the neuroatypical kid who doesn’t quite understand social cues? Never too different to be ostracized, but always just enough to be brushed aside – that’s how I describe the minimal bullying I experienced in school.
So being in the KTs, the smallest group on campus, a group struggling to be seen as much as the other sororities? Definitely my kind of group. And that’s what appealed to me – I recognized myself in the group as a whole. We’re seen as different, but not in a bad way. But with everything that’s different, society doesn’t always know how to respond, and that leads to low recognition.
That’s not to say that all sororities are the same except for us. Every sorority is unique in their own way, and we definitely have elements that you can expect to find in a Greek group. But what I love the most is the way we harness our differences to make ourselves strong, persevering no matter what. We’re small? Well, that just makes it easier to get to know everyone. Some of us have been called weird and nerdy for liking anime and have talked about being embarrassed by some of our interests? Our social chair mentioned anime in her speech during the recruitment process this year and she doesn’t even watch it herself, she was just making a point that we bond despite our different interests.
Because that’s the point of a sisterhood. You join together not because you like the same things, but because you share the same values. Sigma Kappa Tau values friendship, love, and loyalty and believe me when I say this: we’re all fiercely loyal to the silver and blue. We’ve been around for 100 years and you can bet your ass that we’ll be around much longer than that because our memories will not die and neither will we.