Fraternities have existed almost as long as colleges and universities. For decades, they have been centers of brotherhood, service and partying on university campuses nationwide. However, Florida International University, located in Miami, is adding a new twist to the concept of fraternity.
A gay fraternity, Gamma Lambda Mu, has recently been established on the FIU campus. While still in its infancy, the members of Gamma Lambda Mu hope their fraternity will give people a new outlook on gay men. With an increase in openly gay college students during the past few years, it seems that Gamma Lambda Mu couldn’t have come at a better time.
Being gay in America has never been easy, especially since the early 1980s, when AIDS became negatively associated with gay men and homosexuality was openly discussed. An organization such as a fraternity, which is not only based on service but also camaraderie and brotherhood, may be the best way for other gay students to get the support and advice they need from their peers.
According to an article in TIME magazine, the members of Gamma Lambda Mu feel they have a real support system, something they need if their families abandon them. There can’t be a better reason for people to gather together than to help each other and the community.
FIU isn’t the first campus to have a gay fraternity and hopefully, it won’t be the last. College should be about acceptance, understanding and education. A gay fraternity that not only focuses on educating its member but also the community is a great way for people to understand and change their sometimes negative opinions of homosexuals. Also, frats have long been considered a grooming ground for politicians, and the network of fraternity brothers in the workplace may help Gamma Lambda Mu members even after graduation.
Whatever the reason, a gay fraternity is a sign that college campuses are becoming more open, a trend that should continue.