Members quit Tufts sorority as transgender student’s application is delayed

(WE ARE NOT IDENTIFYING THIS STUDENT BY NAME OR IMAGE.) Medford, Ma., 12/02/16, This transgender student at Tufts, photographed on the Tufts University campus,  is at the center of this story, which details how she rushed a sorority that has national bylaws which aren't inclusive of transgender women, which caused residual tension in the chapter, causing over half the girls to quit, including her. 

Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff)
This transgender student from Maine expected to feel welcome at Alpha Omicron Phi. –Suzanne Kreiter / Boston Globe

When a transgender student from rural Maine arrived at Tufts University in fall 2015, joining a sorority was the last thing on her mind. But in September, the 19-year-old sophomore decided to rush the Tufts chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi, believing that it was an accepting group where she would feel welcome.

“A lot of my friends were already in the organization, so it felt like a natural thing to do,” said the student, who wishes to remain anonymous because she fears harassment from people outside the Tufts community. “Some people thought I was actually already a member.”

But her bid for membership has divided the sorority and focused attention on how mainstream Greek organizations, typically seen as bastions of traditionalism, are increasingly confronted with the issue of transgender inclusion.

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