Sorority Member Says National Org Forced Them Out for Being Gender Nonbinary

Fabián Guzmán says Chi Omega decided they never should have qualified for membership in the first place because they weren't assigned female at birth.

Sorority Member Says National Org Forced Them Out for Being Gender Nonbinary

Fabián Guzmán, who recently graduated from St. Lawrence University, said in a TikTok video that they had “the best time” with their sorority over the past year. When they joined last fall, Guzmán, who’s nonbinary, said they had the full support of the campus chapter as well as the national organization. But shortly after they graduated last month, Guzmán was removed from the sorority with no chance for appeal because, the national CEO said, they should never have qualified for membership in the first place.

Audio of the meeting in which Guzmán learned that their Chi Omega membership was voided, obtained and first reported by The 19th, reveals the organization telling Guzmán that nonbinary members are allowed only if their sex assigned at birth is female. According to The 19th, numerous current and past Chi Omega members also say that sex assigned at birth is known to be a condition of membership—but the organization’s membership policy does not include any such specifications (presumably to save face and avoid the type of controversy in which the organization currently finds itself).

In a petition seeking to have their membership reinstated, Guzmán said that they were removed from Chi Omega after the St. Lawrence University alumni magazine sought to do a feature spotlighting their campus achievements and unprecedented sorority membership. Fearing national attention and backlash at a time of rising anti-LGBTQ sentiment, the national Chi Omega organization “threatened to revoke my membership if we went public with the story,” Guzmán wrote in their petition. “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.”


PLEASE HELP ME MAKE THIS VIRAL! About a year ago, Chi Omega Nationals and my school approved me to be able to be part of sorority formal rush. I got a bid to Chi Omega last year and was a member since then. After being slated as Recruitment Chair, things were going super well for our chapter. Nevertheless, about a month ago, when my school wanted to right a story about my experience as an student leader and being the first non-binary member of my chapter. With this coming up, Chi Omega informed me and my chapter’s president that technically my membership was never allowed. They told me they were going to honor my membership as my chapter supports me, but I really couldn’t go public if not my membership was going to be revoked. Day 2 of Pride Month this year, I got an email from Chi Omega’s CEOs saying thag my membership was going to be voided as I do not “fulfill the membership requirements” by identifying as non-binary. Today, my membership as a Chi Omega was fully voided and I am no longer part of the chapter. I am extremely heartbroken and I wish there is change soon so no one has to go throught this EVER. I really thought we were making a change, and when I least expected it, the people in power that were supposed to be my sisters let me down. I would appreciate a reshare of this and hopefully creating awareness of HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO VALIDATE IDENTITIES! Learn to use the right pronouns, educate yourself, be a better person for the world please. Eternal love to my Epsilon Kappa sister that ALWAYS are by my side. A big hug to all my LGTBQIA+ folks out there. Lets keep resisting, lets keep fighting for change, lets continue to SLAY&STAY #chiomega #nonbinary #pridemonth #greeklife #bamarush #staystrong #wematter #youarevalued #sorority

♬ original sound – Fabián Guzmán

In the month since Guzmán first shared their story on June 8, past and current Chi Omega members have reacted with frustration and calls for change. (Chi Omega’s national organization didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Jezebel.)

One Chi Omega member who serves as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion chair of her sorority chapter at an unnamed university in the Midwest told The 19th that her group chat with other Chi Omega DEI chapter chairs is full of conversation about Guzmán’s story. She said that “overwhelmingly,” most want to see changes in organizational bylaws to allow Guzmán’s membership.

The student, who spoke anonymously with The 19th, said that when she spoke to her chapter’s national consultant some time prior to Guzmán’s removal, she was told the same thing: Nonbinary students are welcome into the sorority only if they were born female as their sex assigned at birth. This policy, the student said, is “weirdly specific” for requiring “details that you shouldn’t need” to decide someone’s membership eligibility. “How do you even go about asking that? … How do you do that to someone you obviously don’t even know that well and then are supposed to say, ‘Hey you want to join our organization? Could you first tell me everything about your life before you came out as nonbinary?’ It is such an intimate detail. It feels like a boundary that shouldn’t be crossed.”

The removal of Guzmán under a nebulous policy comes as the exclusionary nature of Greek life faces rising scrutiny. At the end of last month, the University of Wyoming’s Kappa Kappa Gamma chapter filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit against it for admitting trans women. In 2017, the National Panhellenic Conference, which oversees university sororities, voted to allow sororities to admit trans women. But in 2021, the organization declined to vote on a similar policy change that would allow nonbinary members.

Last month, Chi Omega’s national office shared a statement that did not comment on its supposed sex assigned at birth policy, and only stated that by Guzmán’s “own admission, this individual did not meet the criteria for membership at the time of joining.” The statement goes on to claim that “Chi Omega is committed to providing opportunities for friendship, personal growth, and development amongst women from a variety of backgrounds.”

“I had the best time with my sisters, because the reason why I joined Chi Omega was because they really, truly showed me what sisterhood is really about,” Guzmán said in a TikTok video last month. “And they also showed me that I could embrace my nonbinary-ness.”

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