These Fraternities Just Made History for the Best Reason

February 23rd 2016

Lucy Tiven

College fraternities aren't typically known to be champions of equality. As ATTN: has reported, fraternity culture tends to promote certain hyper-masculine values that when taken to the extreme, result in hazing, excessive partying, sexual assault and other forms of dangerous and abusive behavior. But two fraternities at the University of Oregon are becoming more inclusive and hoping to change that — transgender men can now join their chapters.

oregon trans friendly frats

The University of Oregon's Delta Tau Delta fraternity became trans-inclusive on a national level in January 2016, stating that they are "open to all men of superior character including transgender males."

“Delta Tau Delta is among the first mainstream international fraternities to have redefined what it means to be man and a brother to include trans men,” Shane Windmeyer, the founder of Campus Pride, told BuzzFeed News.

Last fall, the University of Oregon's Delta Upsilon fraternity became a chartered group and rewrote the fraternity's bylaws to include trans men, according The Oregonian.

"Fraternities and sororities are really powerful units for change," Delta Upsilon's Henry Korman told The Oregonian. "We have a big presence and influence on campus, and we want the culture to be more inclusive. Frat culture can be very dangerous. We want to change the culture from the inside."

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The Delta Upsilon chapter, which was formed three years ago, is a far cry from the stereotypical frat house sausage fest. The chapter was founded with an anti-misogynistic message at its core and hosted a talk on gender equality and sexual wellness in 2015, according to Oregon Live.

Trans Inclusive Frat

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Representatives from the groups say that they hope to make student life safer and more inclusive, and push back against the unsafe and sexist spaces that often constitute more traditional fraternities. Korman also said he hopes that other Greek societies including campus sororities, which currently don't accept transwomen, will follow suit.

Though neither group had any transgender pledges at the time of the mid-February announcement, their efforts to be inclusive and progressive suggest a large step forward for trans students and a big shift in how fraternity life fits into campus culture.

“There are people in the community who might not have a comfortable place, a social group where they fit in,” Alec Malnati, the local Delta Tau Delta president, told Queerty. “I’m just really hopeful we can be that place for people.”

[H/T Buzzfeeed]