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'Progressive' fraternity brings together men of all sexualities, gender expressions

March 13, 2017

For the brothers of MSU's Chi Chapter of the Delta Lambda Phi fraternity, diversity and inclusion are top priorities.

The fraternity, founded in 1987 and rechartered in 2013 at MSU, “is a traditional Greek social organization founded by and for a decidedly nontraditional group: gay, bisexual, and progressive men,” according to its website.

The fraternity is a part of the Multicultural Greek Council and welcomes all men to join. With 12 active members, they do not have a house. Still, that does not stop them from other greek life traditions.

“I want people to know that we’re not just, like, a LGBT-oriented fraternity," Residential College in the Arts and Humanities and psychology freshman Roderick Bullard said. "That’s what people always think, ‘Oh they’re the gay fraternity.'"

Bullard said there is more to the fraternity than what might originally meet the eye.

“We do so much more than that; we donate, we volunteer, we study together, we have good academics,” Bullard said. “We have a healthy support system within our organization, and I want people to get past that label that we’re just a gay fraternity.”

Senior and philanthropy chairman Kyler Liegh said the fraternity has traditional aspects of greek life, but aims to break the mold.

“I think from an outward perspective, it sometimes it looks like just another caucus or LGBT group, but at our heart, we’re completely greek, and I enjoy immersing myself in the greek culture,” Liegh said. “DLP, for me, shattered the stereotypes and the norms of greek life. Everyone I know in DLP said, 'I’d never join a fraternity' or 'I’d never join greek life,' and they got involved in DLP and (were) like, 'this is greek life.'”

One of those people is social relations and policy senior Ben Schroff.

“DLP kind of came into my life and before that, I was like, no greek life whatsoever,” Schroff said. “But then DLP came into my life and I was like, 'OK, this greek life, these people are right up my alley.”

President of Delta Lambda Phi Tyler Bonanno said the sense of inclusion is something the brothers of Delta Lambda Phi say is one of the best aspects of the fraternity.

“I had a friend who was in DLP and I still hadn’t come out to my family yet, so I wanted a close-knit family that understood what it meant to come out and just in case they rejected me, or stuff like that," Bonanno, a biochemistry senior, said. “I pretty much joined DLP to have a family just in case my family wasn’t accepting."

The fraternity’s international philanthropic initiative is for The Trevor Project, Liegh said.

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning, or LGBTQ, young people ages 13-24, according to its website.

Another philanthropic initiative Delta Lambda Phi will take on is MSU’s drag show this April with PRISM for MSU Pride Month, Liegh said. The drag show was previously presented by UAB, and it will serve as a fundraiser for the Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit.

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