The University of Wyoming (UW) chapter of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority is no longer a female-only group after it accepted a trans-identified biological male into its midst.
Artemis Langford, a trans-identified male student, was accepted by majority vote and will now be permitted to participate in the group that has up until now been exclusively for females.
"I feel so glad to be in a place that I think not only shares my values, but to be in a sisterhood of awesome women that want to make history," Langford told the Branding Iron, UW’s student newspaper. "They want to break the glass ceiling, trailblazing you know, and I certainly feel that as their first trans member, at least in Wyoming history."
The sorority, which was founded by women for women in 1870, drew up a guide for supporting LGBTQIA+ members in 2021, which states that in an effort to be inclusive, the sorority would now allow into its ranks "women and individuals who identify as women."
"Kappa Kappa Gamma is a single-gender organization comprised of women and individuals who identify as women," reads the guide.
Members are given tips on how to be a good ally, which includes always referring to people by their chosen names and pronouns, and not making or perpetuating "assumptions about someone’s … gender identity." Members are also told to use words that encompass "all genders," with examples such as "'people of all genders' instead of 'women and men,'" and "'children' instead of 'boys and girls.'"
"Our Greek life here on campus, and I think nationwide as well, offers so many resources and so many opportunities and I am really glad that people can partake in that and be welcomed and not afraid they’ll be rejected," Langford told the Branding Iron. "Things that shouldn’t matter like what their identity is or what their orientation is or what the color of their skin is."
"There does come a price to being a first, and it comes with people in our current political situation that are detractors that do not want that," Langford said, acknowledging that sororities have traditionally always been female only.
"I am Artemis Langford. I’m from Lander, Wyoming. I went to high school here. I love this state. I love this campus and community. And I just hope that they’d see me as the person I am and not the ideology that they perceive me as."A local news outlet reported that multiple community members had reached out with concerns about living situations and use of facilities in the female house, but none felt they could comment publicly for fear of backlash.
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