The women at Otterbein University are making sorority life more inclusive for all anyone who wishes to experience it.
When the Tau Delta sorority welcomed its pledge class in early 2013, they assumed it would be just like any other pledge class. Everyone was screaming and ecstatic, they way only sorority sisters meeting their new bids can be. But among the screaming and joy surrounding the girls finding their homes, one new member felt they weren’t able to be their most authentic self.
After being in the chapter for a while, this sister finally came into who they truly were and finally made the decision to publicly come out as transgender. The members of the sorority weren’t trying to make a statement. They just did what they had always done: continued to love their sister for the person he was.
The decision wasn’t a hard one.
“When they pledged, they identified as a woman and were sexed female, however, they were coming into their identity as a man,” one member stated. “So we did not want to exclude him because of that. He is a member of our chapter.”
This opened a conversation and led to the decision, effective for the 2016 recruitment season, that Tau Delta would become Otterbein’s first gender-neutral sorority.
Anyone who is willing to uphold the values of “sisterhood, scholarship, involvement and leadership” is welcome to pledge.
“[We’re] here to make people feel safe. Make people feel wanted,” the sister stated. “If we had kicked him out, it would have been so counter to everything we all believed as individuals, but also what we wanted our chapter to stand for.”
Here’s to Tau Delta, a chapter that understands what sisterhood really means..
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