When it comes to Greek organizations, there is a definitely an unspoken truth against homosexuality. But bigotry in any form is never excellent or a positive gesture of brotherhood and sisterhood. From unwarranted hazing and blatant discrimination against sexuality, black sororities and fraternities quickly find themselves in the news.
There may be a lawsuit in preparation against the pioneering and most renowned sorority founded for African American women. MIAKA (or Men Interested in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority) is threatening to file a lawsuit against Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.. The group of men, whom all are homosexual, are alleging homophobia and gender discrimination against the sorority for not letting them join.
If we hold these allegations to be self-evident then… here are some suggestions:
Learn From The Past
For the MIAKA drama to be brought up again in the news, it makes me think the organization didn’t learn from the first time. Back in 2008, blogs and media sites were inundated with photos and videos of the ‘underground’ organization mocking AKA. Photos of inductees and video of a probate of the Tri Alpha Chapter of MIAKA from Texas Southern University and Prairie View A&M were published everywhere online. I would be remiss if I said I’ve never seen this type of behavior on my college campus while in undergrad. You would be surprised at how many subversive Greek organizations there are (please consult your local HBCU campuses). However, utilizing the organization’s history, mission, crest and signature ‘copyrighted’ gestures is illegal and could incur fines and a counter-suit.
Create & Charter Your Own Organization
Sororities are organizations for women, and fraternities for men. Instead of mocking Pan-Hellenic organizations that are known to condone gender bias and sexuality-based discrimination , why not create a new organization free from a group free from this type of behavior. There are tons of organizations founded by LGBT members like Delta Phi Upsilon and Theta Xi Theta that promote acceptance and community outreach.
Greek Letters Don’t Make It Right
I can definitely understand the need for inclusion and celebration of diversity. I understand that we are not all the same. Creating support systems that encourage and celebrate those who share the same values is much needed in our community. I just wonder if attaching three Greek letters to your organization is the answer. Seems like blacks will try to brand any organization with Greek letters. A sisterhood/brotherhood does not have to have Greek letters.
There is only so much I can commend the organization on, but originality is definitely not one of them. As black gay men, we really have to learn how to support ourselves. So many times we want to be invited to the party or sit among our fellow brothering that we embarrass ourselves in the process. Hopefully this discussion will help the organization to see the disrespect of the integrity of what AKA founders envisioned 104 years ago.
Do you feel the MIAKA chapter should revisit their mission? Are you in support of the organization? Do you feel guys should be able to join sororities? Let’s discuss!