Greek life is an essential part of the college experience, but have you ever thought about how it affects LGBTQ members and how they’re accepted into frats/sororities? What is dating a bro within a fraternity really like? Find out below!
Gay Members in Fraternities
For starters, fraternities are built around a special bond that you can create with your brothers. If you are openly gay or even if you don’t yet know your sexual preference, it’s always possible to enter a romantic relationship with a fellow brother. Such relationships can be incredibly special because you could get to know your partner in several ways. However, you could face multiple challenges. Maintaining and navigating the relationship could be a problem. Fortunately, there are ways in which you can handle them.
Overall, studies show that around 5% to 6% of fraternity members are bisexual or gay. Some frats are less accepting of gay males. Each house will have its own stance on the sexuality of its members. Even if things are changing rapidly in the U.S., you could still encounter some anti-gay fraternities. Others could accept you on a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” basis.
Luckily, there are many that accept gay members and encourage their active participation. It’s up to you to find out whether the organization you want to join accepts gay members openly. You also need to learn whether dating in fraternities is accepted. Keeping your gay relationship a secret could bring you a lot of pressure during your studies. It’s important to find this out and only join a frat in which you’ll be safe, free, and comfortable.
Sit Down With Executive Members
Fraternities are mainly regarded as heterosexual. That’s why they may not have official rules regarding sexuality and same-sex dating. Before joining a fraternity, you could talk to some leaders to find out if the house will accept your having a relationship with a brother.
Some executives could believe that such a relationship could hinder your member duties. If so, try to change their minds about it and reason with them. It’s more effective to talk to fraternity leaders about this rather than asking regular members. That is, you could encounter lots of rumors and false information from non-executive fraternity brothers.
Have a Talk With Your ‘Bro’
So what happens if you become romantically attracted to your bro and choose to hookup and pursue a relationship?
Well, it’s your choice, and nobody can prevent your pursuit of happiness. However, talking about it with your partner is the best way to clear the air. Therefore, define your goals and find out what your relationship really means. One tip is to sit down with your bro and discuss the ways in which you’ll make your relationship known. Many gay couples in college still express their bond away from their brothers. Additionally, discuss how comfortable you are with sharing your relationship with your fraternity.
What’s more, some members prefer to reveal their relationship to only a select few frat brothers who they trust. You could take this approach, but remember that secrecy is incredibly difficult to maintain, and it can harm the emotional health of you and your partner.
Like any secret relationship, dating a guy in a frat could make you believe that your relationship is a lie. That could cause a lot of struggle. You may also have to upkeep another lifestyle that matches the predominantly heteronormative way of frat life. That includes partying, hooking up with sorority sisters to prove you are not gay, etc.
How to Make a Relationship Within a Fraternity Work
First and foremost, you have to consider your safety. Honestly, there is no point in joining a frat only to be scolded for your sexuality. Unwelcoming attitudes would seriously harm your emotional and mental health, especially since you would have to live with them for several years. Moreover, violence is always a possibility if the other frat members are homophobic. In extreme cases, you could face physical abuse.
Thus, the best thing to do is to pick a pro-gay fraternity. Don’t be afraid to talk to executive members or to look this up online. There are many social media posts along with Reddit/Quora testimonies from real students about dating frat boys. Also, if you can’t find a pro-gay college and frat, find out about a frat’s stance on homosexuality. Does the house recognize and accept you for who you are? Will the members welcome your relationship with another frat bro?
What’s more, you must be sure that your roles are not taken for granted. That is, if you experience any discrimination, you should periodically take some time away from your frat to live with your bro as a normal couple. You’ll need to find some time for this because frat memberships can be time-consuming.
It’s impossible to prevent romantic desires, and that’s why you should be ashamed of wanting to be with another frat bro. To conclude, you have to do a lot of digging on your frat and only choose secrecy as a last resort. If your relationship is not accepted, it’s your choice to make it known, keep it secret, or move out of your fraternity. Hopefully, fraternities are becoming a lot more lenient towards gay men, so we hope that you will not even have to consider your relationship to be a problem. Good luck and have fun in college!