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Gay Fraternity Men Break The Silence

Los Angeles, CA Brotherhood, friendship and a chance to belong is the promise held out to young college men by campus fraternities. But what if that young man happens to be gay? Will his brothers accept him, or will he lose his friendships, his comrades, and his community? The stories collected in Out On Fraternity Row reflect both sides of the coin, offering inspiring accounts of honesty and acceptance, and horrifying portraits of betrayal and violence. Perhaps most telling, they clearly show that homophobia and intolerance remain an inherently unhealthy part of fraternal life. "Homophobia within fraternities is a tragedy that perpetuates ignorance and plays on irrational fears. Fraternity professionals who are silent on this issue advance the notion that gay bashing is part of good ole In addressing this issue, editors Shane Windmeyer and Pamela Freeman hope to break down the resistance of fraternal organizations and advisors to acknowledging that gay men exist and are a valuable part of fraternities, and that fraternities themselves must work harder at fulfilling their promise of brotherhood and diversity. In order to achieve this goal, Out On Fraternity Row contains a thorough guide for fraternity members and officers on how to deal with homophobia, how to promote acceptance of gay brothers, and an exhaustive index of resources for both gay and straight fraternity members.

"Never has there been an account of gay men in fraternities. By telling the stories of gay brothers, no longer will a gay brother feel alone and no longer will fraternities be able to ignore the need for anti-homophobia education in their chapters," says Shane Windmeyer co-editor and founder of the Lambda 10 Project, a national initiative working to heighten the visibility of gay and bisexual members of college fraternities.

In the best tradition of fraternities themselves, Shane Windmeyer and Pamela Freeman have created a place where brotherhood, common experience, acceptance, and friendship are the promise held out to all.

The Voices of Out On Fraternity Row

"Yet, I was alone, isolated and afraid. I fought the truth. The truth was confusion; the confusion was pain; and the pain tore from me the appreciation for each moment, each friendship. The pain consumed me." -- Michael T. McRaith

"At Blue House, a fraternity man hung in effigy from the eaves. A banner pointed at the hanged man, reading FAGGOT." -- Mike Pecen

"I finally came out and said the words Jon, I am gay." -- Shane L. Windmeyer

"The door was broken open. My stereo speakers were kicked in. Someone had defecated on the bed. Records were smashed. Papers and books were shredded. And what would the scene be without epithets scrawled on the walls, doors, and mirrors with my own shaving cream? I had been left an unmistakable message by my brothers: Faggot go home!" -- John H. Lee

"Openness is always the burden of the gay person. It is impossible for fraternities to reprogram their attitudes about gay people if they think they have never seen one." -- Gerald Libonati

ABOUT THE EDITORS:

Shane L. Windmeyer joined Phi Delta Theta Fraternity in the spring of 1992 while attending Emporia State University. He created the Lambda 10 Project in the fall of 1995 to help support gay fraternity brothers and to educate about issues of homophobia within the college Greek system. He is a 1995 graduate of Emporia State University, with a BFA in Speech Communication, and a 1997 graduate of Indiana University with an MS in Higher Education and Student Affairs. He is a member of the Association of Fraternity Advisors, American College Personnel Association , Phi Delta Theta International Social Fraternity, the HRC, PFLAG and other organizations. He lives in Charlotte, NC.

Pamela W. Freeman is the assistant dean of students and director of the Office of Student Ethics and Anti-harassment Programs at Indiana University. She cochairs the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Anti-harassment Team and the Racial Incidents Team. She is a member of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, The American College Personnel Association, College and University Ombuds Association, Phi Delta Kappa Honorary Association, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and other organizations. She lives in Bloomington, IN.


©1998 Oasis Magazine. All Rights Reserved.