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.
Do you have to be a student to join Delta Lambda Phi?
Yes. UCLA’s Gamma Chapter of Delta Lambda Phi is a campus-based chapter. Any person wanting to join must be an enrolled student either part-time or full-time at UCLA. Both, undergraduate and graduate students are welcomed.
Does Delta Lambda Phi discriminate?
No. All men, regardless of age, race, socioeconomic background, religion, or sexual orientation are welcome to apply for membership. There are no “litmus tests” concerning membership eligibility.
Does Delta Lambda Phi allow straight members?
Yes, Delta Lambda Phi has straight Brothers. One of the chief strengths of Delta Lambda Phi 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 female members several times. In 1992, the Fraternity’s governing body decided to remain exclusively male rather than going co-ed. The reasoning being that if straight men can have a “traditional” (i.e., non-co-ed) Greek experience, gay men should be able to have it 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 quite mistaken.
What is Delta Lambda Phi’s policy on transgendered members?
The Fraternity has had transgendered members practically since its beginnings. Delta Lambda Phi strives to create an accepting, supportive environment for all men. To that end, the Brotherhood now employs the following membership policy: Delta Lambda Phi defines “man” as any person who self-identifies as male at some point during his collegiate experience. Thus, any female-bodied persons who self-identify as male at some time during college are eligible to join, and any male-bodied persons who later transition to a female identity are still considered Brothers of Delta Lambda Phi. This policy takes a progressive stance on an often contentious issue, and is an expression both of the Fraternity’s commitment to civil rights, as well as the Bonds of Brotherhood that join all our members.
How does one join Delta Lambda Phi?
Chapters 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 events 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 decline 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. Pledges 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, service, and recreational 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 that other gay social groups are important, it’s equally hard to find friendships as strong as Brotherhood in them as well.
Aren’t you being assimilationists?
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 anything a straight man can be able to do, a gay man should be able to do as well — that includes going Greek.
Is there hazing in the pledge process?
Delta Lambda Phi enforces a strict anti-hazing policy. The willful abuse and/or public embarrassment of pledges by Brothers flies in the face of everything that our Fraternity stands for. Hazing is not tolerated within our organization.