May 7, 2010

A Gay Greek's Plea

Okay, here we go. I am gay, out, and in a fraternity. Best part about it: it’s not a problem at all. The brothers knew about my sexuality long before I rushed and pledged. I was worried that once knowledge of my sexuality spread, I would be blacklisted and never invited to come around again. Much to my surprise, not long after my sexuality was revealed, I was invited to go to dinner with some of the brothers. I agreed, hesitantly, wondering what in the world this could mean. Were we going to have “the talk”?! (DUH Duh duh!) We have dinner. The subject was not mentioned, not referenced, not even hinted at. I released a sigh of relief as mighty as the gust from Zephyr that killed the beautiful Hyacinth (Can you tell I love Greek mythology?). My times of hanging out with the brothers continued. Fast forward to rush. Once again, my suspicions rose that maybe I could hang out with the brothers but only as a friend, never a brother. On a last minute whim, I rushed. My heart beat at the speed of light at each event, waiting for one of the brothers to tell me what I knew I would eventually hear. I remember anxiously staring at my computer on Sunday nights, refreshing my email every 10 seconds, hoping that I would get an email inviting me to the next round of rush, but knowing that I would never get it. Again, the brotherhood proved me wrong. I received a round 2 invite, followed by round 3. Then came the moment of truth… bids. I successfully made it through all 3 rounds of rush, but would that matter? After all, it could have all been for naught if I did not get a bid to pledge and eventually join. For that entire day, I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t eat. I was sick to my stomach. I couldn’t walk because my knees were weak. I couldn’t write because my hands were shaking. The same thought ran through my head all day: No fraternity wants a gay guy as a brother.

I broke into tears that night. I received a bid to join the Beta Lambda chapter of Sigma Chi. They didn’t care. THEY DIDN’T CARE!!! They wanted me to be one of their brothers! Tears of joy streamed down my face as I quickly ran downstairs to my best friend’s room to tell her the good news. I, Ashante’ Jamar Biggers, was going to pledge a fraternity.

That was a year ago now. I’ve enjoyed every single minute with my brothers. They’ve been my friends, my support group, my vacation buddies. They’ve been there through my happy times, my sad times, my confusing times, my stressful times, my blissful times. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

So why tell you my story? Because I want everyone out there to know that yes, there is homophobia in the Greek community, but it’s not everywhere. You can find a pocket of sunshine breaking through the clouds just like I did. You just have to find it. I feel very secure about my sexuality thanks to the help of my fraternity. I feel very comfortable inviting a guy to our events. The thing that gives me the most grief is getting up the courage to ask someone. I know that if I bring a guy to a date function, we won’t have to face the stares and whispers. We won’t have to be the awkward couple that no one talks to. We could be just another couple in the crowd.

So please, for me, don’t think of all Greek organizations as homophobic because they are not. I beg of you to not generalize all Greeks as the same because we are not. I am an individual just as much as the next person. Think of the negative stereotypes that you face everyday and how you feel about them. I feel the same way.

9 comments:

  1. AJ! this is so good! I'm so proud of you! <3 you've become an even more amazing guy over the last two years and I'm so happy I've been there to see it!

    -Rawan

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  2. AJ! this is amazing and I'm super proud of you!! :D I can completely relate to fears that you've had about coming out to certain types of people, but everytime I have fears I'm always strongly reminded that they are just fears-not reality. but GAH yes it's hard and so I'm really happy for you!! congrats :D

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  3. Love you AJ! And I am so glad you've found so many supportive places and people here. <3

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  4. i really enjoyed reading this, aj! i think you have an interesting story that challenges stereotypes and will mean alot to so many people who read it. on a personal level, too, it makes me happy to know that you've had such a positive experience with your fraternity. thank you for sharing :)

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  5. Taylor CallobreMay 8, 2010 at 4:12 AM

    AJ you are amazing! Thank you for this post. I'm so glad I know you, ps. can we make that Harry Potter party happen next year?

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  6. AJ, thank you so much for writing this! I am glad you have found your niche at Duke and that you are such a positive example of Greek life at Duke. I must say that I sometimes fall for thinking the way you mention in your post, so thanks for keeping me in check :)

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  7. This rocks AJ! Thank you so much for posting this. Too often the Greek community is stereotyped as being homophobic and not inclusive. Your story shows that this is most definitely not always the case. I really enjoyed reading it :)

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  8. I will be a freshman next year and this post makes me really happy :)

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  9. ^^This comment makes ME really happy.

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