Is Delta Lambda Phi a real fraternity or a “pretend” fraternity?
Delta Lambda Phi is a real fraternity in every sense of the word. Delta Lambda Phi is a 501(c)7 tax-exempt organization, modeled on other collegiate Greek societies. It has a formal pledging process, a coat of arms, a fraternity pin, a national convention and chapter programs that conform to National Interfraternity Council policies.
Does Delta Lambda Phi allow straight members?
Yes, Delta Lambda Phi has straight Brothers. One of the chief strengths of Delta Lambda is its tremendous diversity.
You said “all men” are welcome to join Delta Lambda Phi; does that mean women are excluded?
Delta Lambda Phi has visited the topic of women members several times. In 1992, the Fraternity’s governing body decided to remain exclusively male rather than going coed. The reasoning being, if straight men can have a “traditional” (i.e., non-coed) Greek experience, gay men should be able to have it as well. As well, gay men, by virtue of their being gay men, go through a unique, shared social experience. Delta Lambda Phi is a way for gay men of varying backgrounds (sometimes radically varying backgrounds) to find common ground in that experience. Those who claim that our lesbian friends, as much as we love and support them as comrades-in-arms, have the same social experience as gay men, are, frankly, deluding themselves. Our lesbian friends have the option of pledging our “sister” sorority, Lambda Delta Omega.
How does one join Delta Lambda Phi?
Chapters and colonies host publicized, periodic membership drives called “Rush.” If you are interested in joining, simply go to an open Rush party and meet the Brothers. Rush parties are a way of learning more about Delta Lambda Phi and provide an opportunity to see if the Fraternity is for you. Rush parties are also the way Brothers find out more about you. At the end of the Rush period, Brothers select the men they would like to invite to pledge the Fraternity. ‘Bids’ are offered to the men, and they may, of course, either accept or reject the bid. If they accept, the men become pledges and undergo an intensive, roughly eight-week pledge period, during which they learn more about the Fraternity and bond as a group. Pledge who successfully complete all the requirements of the pledge period are eligible for full Brotherhood.
Why don’t Brothers of Delta Lambda Phi just join the gay student group or a local gay advocacy group?
They can do both! Delta Lambda Phi does not compete with other social groups. The number of special-interest groups in the gay community is amazing, and Delta Lambda Phi supports the existence of them all. In the gay community, there are roles for ACT-UP, Dignity, the Log Cabin Republicans, the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club and even the Gay Birdwatchers. Delta Lambda Phi fills a niche that had been unfilled until 1986; it provides a place for gay men to have purposeful and dignified social, recreational, and service activities. The Fraternity was founded to allow gay men a place in which to form quality, lifelong friendships with other gay men–a place to find Brotherhood. Brotherhood is something extremely hard to find in a bar, for instance; and while we agree other gay social groups are important, it’s equally hard to find friendships as strong as Brotherhood in them as well.
Why would gay men, who are regularly ostracized by society at large, form a group that is exclusive (i.e., it selects its members rather than having an open-door policy)?
This is a legitimate question. One of the wonderful things about the gay community is its inclusiveness. However, the specific mission of Delta Lambda Phi–to form bonds of Brotherhood between gay men–precludes us from having an “open-door” policy. Frankly, there is no way a pledge class of 75 men will bond as closely as a group of 15 does. It is the very nature of the activates we run to foster those bonds–not mean-spiritedness or exclusivity–that makes us limit our membership. While it is quite difficult to sit down and evaluate pledges, the process serves the greater good of the Fraternity.
Aren’t you being assimilationists?
We’re not entirely sure what being assimilationist means. If a gay man was elected to the U.S. Senate–a bastion of straight, white males–would he be an “assimilationist?” If a gay man is a whiz on Wall Street–another straight, white-male bastion–is he an “assimilationist?” If a gay man wins a gold medal at the Olympics–overwhelmingly a bastion of straight men and women–is he an “assimilationist?” Brothers of Delta Lambda Phi are proud of being gay. One of our mottoes is “Make Your Presence Known,” and we certainly do; we simply feel that any thing a straight man can be able to do, a gay man should be able to do–that includes going Greek.
Is Delta Lambda Phi a “sex club?”
No, no, no. It’s quite the opposite. If gay men want sex, they go to the bars. Delta Lambda Phi is an attempt to get away from that sexually charged atmosphere.
What is your fraternity all about?
We, the Lambda Men, believe that the fraternity experience provides an excellent opportunity for men to develop long-lasting friendships by participating in social and recreational activities. We seek to participate in our society not just as gay men, but as responsible and productive members of our colleges and communities. To this end, we contribute our cooperative spirit in the form of activism, community service, and just plain fun projects.
Gay fraternity? No way!
Yes way! We are a national organization with over 20 active chapters nationwide, and more colonies and interest groups are springing up every day. We’re not just a bunch of gay guys “playing” fraternity.
Will pledging DLP hurt my grades?
DLP takes academics very seriously. We emphasize that the first priority in college is scholarship, and our fraternity is secondary to getting a good education.
So, what about parties? Fraternities have big parties with kegs of beer, right?
We prefer wine. But seriously, parties are a big part of our fraternity, but the intangible things like brotherhood and friendship are really the cornerstone of our chapter.
What’s your recruitment like?
Well, during rush we invite new members to come see what our fraternity is like. We have two weeks of fun events where there’s no official time committment or cost for a rushee. Just show up and have a good time while you get to know us and we get to know you.
The website says you’re a social fraternity. What’s that mean?
As a social fraternity, our primary purpose is to get together and just have a good time. We also fundraise and do community service. What really seperates DLP from other gay groups is the emphasis on brotherhood. Come find out for yourself!
Can I rush if I’m straight or bisexual?
Yes, of course. DLP was founded by gay men for all men. Can I rush if I’m (fill in the blank)? DLP embraces the diversity of its members, and will never discriminate against anyone based on ethnicity, religion, physical appearance, money, sexual orientation, poltical beliefs, or who you voted for in the 2004 election. Simple as that.
Do I have to be out of the closet to join?
Technically, no. We have had closeted brothers in the past, and we always do our best to protect the privacy of our brothers. However, our involvement in the community does create a certain amount of visibility.
Do you guys have a frat house?
We do have living space shared in common by multiple brothers. This works for us the way a frat house does for other fraternities.
Does DLP haze its pledges?
Never. Hazing and other kinds of abusive behavior are not tolerated in DLP under any circumstances. Ever.