It’s exactly what it sounds like. I’m the queer girl in my sorority.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one. Granted, I don’t know any other gay Greek women, but maybe everyone else is just a little more quiet about their sexuality. Whatever it is, I never thought that I could be both in a sorority and be a lesbian. I thought I had choose. Maybe that’s what everyone else thinks too. So I don’t blame all of the other girls who were still in the closet. I was scared to be anything but straight, too. I mean, I was in Greek life, after all. Being gay didn’t fit the label, right?
I’d struggled for years with accepting myself. I was constantly trying to change who I was. I would put myself in situations that could’ve been dangerous all because I wanted to convince myself to be straight. I would cry and scream and be disappointed when I didn’t change.
When I realized that I couldn’t change.
So when I came back to my dorm the morning after sleeping with a girl for the first time, I wondered what exactly I would tell my closest sisters.
Because the thing is, I’m the last person they’d expect to be gay. I’d always bragged to my friends about any debauchery I went through when it came to guys. I was the first to talk about who I slept with, what we did, how he was. But that day I was quiet as I joined them all in my neighbor’s dorm room. I tried to hide under the radar as they exchanged stories about their weekends. And while they were gossiping about the parties, the hangovers,and finally, the dudes they fucked, I felt the panic rise.
I remember biting my lip, my stomach curling nervously as they discussed this subject further. When they turned their attention to me, I told them I’d slept with someone. A boy. I even used real details from the hookup, give or take a few minor things. I talked about the way he kissed me tenderly. The way he made my heart pound. The way my legs squirmed and my orgasm break. But each time I replaced “she” with “he” I felt like I was losing a piece of myself.
I lied for a few weeks, replacing the pronoun “she” with a “he” as things between this girl and I got serious. Then, one day, I got tired. Tired of pretend and tired of lying to the people who were supposed to love me no matter what.
So as time went on, I picked and chose who I confided in. The first time was the hardest.
“You know that guy I’ve been seeing?”
“Yeah, he’s actually a she.”
Much to my relief, not only was nobody surprised, they were accepting.
I hate to admit that I wasn’t expecting such a positive response, but I go to an SEC school. It’s a conservative area, and while I respect people’s opinions for the most part, it made it that much harder to be comfortably out.
Not only that, but I always thought Greek life had a certain stereotype about it. Everyone expects sorority women to be cookie cutter, judgmental, rude girls. Of course, these misconstrued images scared me. What if I was cut? What if everyone talked about me behind my back? What if the girls who I considered my closest friends decided they wanted nothing to do with me? But it was more than that. I wasn’t just scared of what they would say about me. I was afraid that by being true to one part of myself, I’d have to compromise in another area. What if I couldn’t compliment their outfits, talk about my life, or be who I really am without them being freaked the hell out? I imagined how it would play out over and over again.
“Oh my god, that lesbian in our sorority just told me she likes my dress. She’s totally checking me out.”
As I came out to more and more people, however, any negative preconceived ideas I’d had about coming out were shattered. My sisters still loved me, they accepted me, and they wanted to know about my life, just like they’d always had. They’d ask about my girlfriend, and told me that they wanted to meet her.
I remember how scared I was to ask my president if I could bring my girlfriend as my date to our semi-formal. I had no idea what I would do if she said no. Drop? Fight it? No matter what, I would be devastated. But it turns out, I had nothing to worry about. The overwhelming happiness I felt when she told me that I should never feel like I can’t bring her to any date function we have was one of the best moments of my life.
And it kept getting better.
During recruitment, PNMs would ask me what I loved the most about my sorority. And every time I felt a rush of pride to be able to answer honestly. Of course, I wouldn’t straight up say, “They still like me even though I’m gay.” But what I said was pretty close.
Their eyes would light up when I told them about how accepting my sisters were of everyone, for exactly who they are. That the never ending support and love I receive from my sisterhood is what made it my home. And how each and every day I’m reminded of how very, very lucky I am.
It also reminded me of why I joined a sorority to begin with. I never had sisters, and that was the bond I wanted. I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself. I wanted to be supported and loved and pushed to work my hardest. I wanted to be cherished when I’m at my worst and celebrated when I’m at my best. And now? I am.
These brave, strong, amazing women accepted me in a place that I was terrified to be myself in. They reminded me to be strong in the face of judgment and fear. They reminded me to be exactly who I’m supposed to be, because who I’m supposed to be is pretty damn wonderful.
Sisterhood is about just that..