The Daily Californian has a great piece on two students at UC Berkeley that met in their Christian sorority and fell in love. Sophia Chaparro and Kylie Foo have been members of their school’s Alpha Delta Chi sorority since 2010, even taking on roles as chapter president (Sophia) and devotional chair (Kylie). But once they came out about their being together, the ADX National Advisor Liason “decided that if the women continued their relationship, their ADX membership would be considered ‘delinquent.” Essentially, “they could not be a part of the sorority at all if they remained in a same-sex relationship.”
Referred to as a “conflict of interest” by the National Board President, the relationship fell under the part of the membership requirement that reads, “willingness to avoid situations which would cause one’s brother or sister to stumble.”
The Daily Californian notes that there are 17 chapters of Alpha Delta Chi across America, and Sophia said that the idea the sorority was faith-based appealed to her, “because my faith is important to me,” she said. Chaparro said. “I went to the first rush event and I fell in love, and I was like, ‘This is where I want to be.’ ”
And while both girls felt welcome amongst their new sisters after pledging in 2010, Kylie now laments that they are no longer so close.
“I came to know the house better than anyone in the house except for maybe one or two people,” Foo told The Daily Californian. “I spent a lot of time with these girls … and now a lot of them won’t even look at me.”
Not all of the sisters turned their backs on them, though. Some of the house voted for them the women to be able to stay, despite threats from the National Board that their chapter could be shut down. And that’s exactly what happened. From The Daily Californian:
This turned the women of the house against Sophia and Kylie, and the couple decided to withdraw their membership from ADX.
“It makes me really sad when people think of Christianity as a hateful and discriminatory religion, and organizations like ADX do nothing to help that,” Foo told the college paper. “We’re supposed to be one of the most welcoming and most helpful and most loving faiths, and when there are atheists that seem to be more loving than most Christians, there’s something wrong with that.”
Their former sorority has since been reinstated and Kylie and Sophia received a note of apology from board member Casey Chan, condescendingly writing she is praying for them both. Protests against the homophobia of Alpha Delta Chi have been a part of the current Rush Week on campus, and Kylie and Sophia are largely involved.
“We’re making it very clear that what happened to us could happen again,” Chaparro said to the Daily. “If you’re OK with that, I guess walk in. But if you’re not, you’ve been warned.”
Campus Pride has a list of 13 reasons why homophobia hurts college sorority life, including the idea that “Homophobia jeopardizes sisterhood by inhibiting close, intimate friendships among sorority women and their ability to show affection toward other women for fear of being perceived as lesbian or bisexual.” It also encourages “rigid gender-based roles” and “breeds an attitude of sexual conquest among men that can have a negative impact on women,” which raises the likelihood of “rape, sexual objectification and other forms of sexual abuse of women.” There are a number of LGBT-friendly houses, or at least those with non-discrimination policies, but a stigma remains: Good sorority girls are supposed to be straight. However, the reality is that one in five are not.
As women — especially young women — we crave acceptance, companionship and sisterhood. Some of us are brought together by likeness in ethnic backgrounds, religious beliefs or athletic interests. No matter what it is that we’re bound by, the idea that something like love can make us disposable is deeply disheartening, and very un-Christianlike.