A male who identifies as non-binary was accepted into a New York college sorority only to be kicked out by the sorority’s national headquarters.
Fabián “Fa” Guzmán, 22, a student at St. Lawrence University in upstate New York, said he was accepted into the school’s Chi Omega chapter last fall and was a member of the sorority until this month.
In May, the Chi Omega national office began asking questions about Guzmán’s membership status, and he had several phone calls and Zoom meetings with national leadership, Guzmán said.
Then in early June, the Chi Omega national office informed Guzmán it was revoking his sorority membership with no chance to appeal the decision, he said.
“The national organization threatened to revoke my membership if we went public with the story,” Guzmán said.
The sorority headquarters appeared to indicate that the problem is not that he identifies as a gender other than his biological sex — the problem is that he does not identify as a woman.
“The selection criteria in the policy on membership includes ‘females and individuals identifying as women,’ which, by the chapter’s own understanding and your indication through the process, it is clear you did not meet the criteria at the time of joining,” the Chi Omega national office said in an email, according to 19th News.
“We are bound by our governing documents, and your membership must be voided,” the headquarters said.
Guzmán claims that he does identify with “womanhood” despite identifying as non-binary.
“The criteria were not met due to my identity as a non-binary individual and my sex assigned at birth. Even though we asked them directly about the policy several times prior, and as a non-binary individual, I identify with women and womanhood,” Guzmán said.
Guzmán started a Change.org petition demanding Chi Omega National Headquarters reinstate his membership and his position as chapter recruitment chair.
He also wants a public apology from the sorority headquarters that “acknowledges and validates those gender identities, like non-binary and trans, that identify as a woman and womanhood regardless of their sex assigned at birth.”
Guzmán is also asking Chi Omega to consider changing the words of its membership policy to make it “inclusive” for people who identify as non-binary.
“Even though my identity has been invalidated by this organization that has meant so much to me, and I am extremely hurt, the love I share with my sisters and the support I have been getting from them reminds me what real sisterhood is about,” Guzmán said.
Guzmán is not the first biological male to attempt to join a college sorority.
Last year, University of Alabama student Grant Sikes tried to join a sorority on his campus but was turned down.
In March, seven students at the University of Wyoming filed a lawsuit over their sorority accepting a trans-identifying man. They claimed the male sorority member sat in their common area and stared at them silently for hours, including while one woman was wearing just a towel.
In a reverse case, a woman who identifies as a man tried to join a sorority at Northwestern, but no sorority offered her an acceptance.