The first thing that comes up when you Google the words “lesbian” and “sorority” together is porn. Truthfully, I’ve never searched that combination of words, but there are likely thousands of women who have. Our views and acceptance of sexuality in this country is ever-changing toward the more progressive, which I think we can all agree is a good thing. The majority of sorority women are on board with the new wave of progressivism and acceptance of everyone. However, in a historically hyper-feminine environment like a sorority house, it can be really difficult to open up about homo- or bi-sexuality.
We’ve tried to hit on the broad spectrum of what it’s like to be gay in a sorority — from living in the closet, to coming out, to falling in love with a sorority sister, to dating girls. But the fact of the matter remains, sororities still feel like a particularly difficult place to come out to most lesbians — which means fewer lesbians do come out in their sorority, which makes it more difficult to come out, which means fewer lesbians come out, and so on, and so on.
Jacki Bradshaw, president of Alpha Gamma Delta at the University of Oklahoma, fought her fear, and came out to her sorority. And it was one of the most positive experiences of her life. So she gave a TED talk to help educate other women, and encourage them to come out — because honestly, supporting each other is what sisterhood is all about.
Bradshaw in a statement to TSM:
When I came to terms with my sexuality, I thought I was the only one facing this challenge of being a sorority member and a lesbian. I can’t quite describe the fear I felt and the worst case scenarios I came up with. However, now that I am on the other side I realize that there is no way I am the only one and how much my sisters truly love me.
She has continued to mentor young women throughout the Greek community with the hopes that young women “no longer have to live in fear of who they are and the people they call their sisters.”