Back in college, I asked my sorority sisters, "So, what would happen if an alumna decided to become a man?" "Very funny," everyone said. "No, really." "That just wouldn't happen." No one (including myself) would even have considered the idea of a transgendered person joining, the assumption being that said person wouldn't want to do it any more than a chapter would want them.
We've come a long way - not far enough, but a distance anyways: I was sent a blurb about an event Vanderbilt is holding Monday called "Facing Trans." From the description: "In single gender institutions like fraternities and sororities, what happens if alumni transition into a new gender expression? How do we define membership given a single sex status? Can a transman still live by his sorority’s values? If a potential member is drawn to your organization for all of the right reasons and would be a perfect leader — does this change if they are going through a transition process? How does transition impact a Title IX status? Does it matter what dedicated leader's birth certificate says? ... Join in on a frank, humorous, and up front facilitated conversation on the difference between sex (anatomy/biology), gender (roles, identity, expression, and perception), and sexual identity (straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, asexual, etc). Let's talk about the qualifications and legal precedent in various states as well as organizational and campus non-discrimination policies' impact on recruitment and membership standards."