Delta, Delta, Delta, can I help you overcome your heteronormativity?

A workshop at USC aims to make sorority life even more welcoming to lesbians.

Published January 31, 2006 9:30PM (EST)

Check out this interesting article from the USC student newspaper about an event designed to make sororities -- now attracting Muslims and outspoken feminists -- more welcoming to bisexual women and lesbians. (Thanks, Big Gay Picture!) While the quick to judge might imagine that the "lesbian experience" in sororities amounts to making out with a girl to impress some guy from Deke, they'd be pretty far off. At the USC event, gay and bi sorority members past and present described experiences of both alienation and acceptance. According to the article, there are currently "a handful of national and regional sororities directed at recruiting bisexual and lesbian women. Lambda Delta Lambda describes itself as a 'progressive' sorority and has a chapter at UC Davis ... Many sororities at USC are trying to create a more open environment, sponsoring diversity council presentations and completing [sexual orientation awareness trainings]." At the same time, the USC event was designed in part to train attendees not to leap to "she can't be a lesbian, she was a debutante!" conclusions, and avoid turning off prospective members with "heteronormative" assumptions such as "Do you have a boyfriend?"

Northwestern University freshman Liz Granger, who idenitfies as bi, told the USC paper that she doesn't feel she has to hide her orientation from her sorority sisters. Still, there's a way to go. "I don't think it's completely acceptable to be a lesbian in a sorority, but I don't think [it's considered] completely acceptable to be a lesbian in society," she said.

By Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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