University of Wyoming Sorority Sisters Sue Organization for Admitting Male: 'I Felt We Were Lied To'
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University of Wyoming female students who sued their sorority for accepting a transgender student are speaking out about the case saying they felt "lied to" by their organization and are now being harassed for filing the lawsuit.
Seven members of Wyoming's Kappa Kappa Gamma chapter are breaking their silence after petitioning a court in March to nullify both their organization's "unauthorized" gender policy and its decision to accept a transgender-identifying man as a member.
In April, U.S. District Court Judge Alan B. Johnson denied the young women's request for anonymity as a condition for proceeding with the case, which is still being adjudicated, the National Review reports.
Plaintiffs Madeline Remar, Allison Coghan, Hannah Holtmeier, and non-plaintiff KKG member Katie Fisher told the outlet they feel compelled to fight for the exclusivity of their sisterhood.
"They changed the way they defined 'woman' without changing our bylaws or rules. They came out with a guide to support the LGBTQ community," Holtmeier said. "When it came out, they were just expecting us to follow suit and say, 'We totally agree, that's what a woman is.' They can't change their definition of a woman and expect us to change ours."
The women claim their national sorority officials pressured the local chapter to violate sorority rules. They also allege the transgender member has been visibly aroused around the girls making them feel uncomfortable.
Sophomore Artemis Langford, who stands 6′ 2″ tall and weighs 260 pounds, joined the chapter last September.
The plaintiffs allege that Langford is attracted to women often using a Tinder account to meet them, has not undergone medical gender transition, and identifies as male on a Washington State driver's license. However, he does use female pronouns on his Twitter account and wears women's clothing "only occasionally."
The lawsuit claims Langford would stare at the girls in the common areas for hours without talking. He has also questioned them about their romantic relationships and "whether women were considering breast reductions and birth control" among other personal subjects.
Langford is not currently living on the property with the other 50 members but has been granted permission to live their since September.
"There definitely have been awkward interactions and creepy, weird moments, but that proves why we're doing this and speaking out, for other girls with the same situation where a biological man is in a sorority house or locker room with women," Holtmeier said.
"An adult human male does not become a woman just because he tells others that he has a female 'gender identity' and behaves in what he believes to be a stereotypically female manner," the lawsuit said.
Leaders at the sorority's national headquarters as well as the chapter's leader bent the rules to secure Langford's admission into the organization, the lawsuit claims.
Instead of relying on official bylaws, they used a 2018 "Guide for Supporting Our LGBTQIA+ Members" that says Kappa Kappa Gamma is a "single-gender" organization that admits both "women" and "individuals who identify as women," the lawsuit alleges.
Members were told they could vote on Langford's admittance anonymously, but when voting day came the online ballot asked them to submit their email addresses – a violation of the sorority's secret-ballot procedures. Some of the women felt intimidated to vote in favor of Langford because of the request.
"I felt we were lied to. We were told that a transgender member was going through rush and, if we had any concerns, to go talk to our membership chair. She said there was a 99.9 percent chance he would not get in," Remar said.
"It really hurt because we were blindsided. Once he's offered a bid, there's nothing that anyone could have done," she added.
Kappa Kappa Gamma told CBN News in a statement, "We are aware of the litigation filed in this case and intend to address it through the legal process. While we cannot comment in detail on this pending litigation, it contains numerous false allegations. Kappa Kappa Gamma values diversity and does not discriminate based on classes protected by state, local or federal law."
In April, The school's paper, Branding Iron, where Langford is a writer, wrote an article about the lawsuit.
"They posted it to their Instagram page and deleted all the comments that were in support of us. And they left us the ugly comments, calling us names, telling us to pluck our eyes out," Fisher said.
The publication later apologized for removing comments that were in support of the plaintiffs.
"We recognize that a mistake has been made in deleting some of the comments under this post. The Branding Iron would like to apologize to any of the individuals who had their comments deleted, and we encourage you to continue sharing your thoughts about the article under this post," the publication wrote.
It added, "The Branding Iron reserves the right to delete any comments that are exceptionally threatening or violent. We acknowledge that this was not necessarily the case for all individuals in this instance. We have internally addressed this issue and we will ensure that this will not happen again."
A senior member of the sorority also told the plaintiffs they were "homophobic". The plaintiffs say the camaraderie that was once vital to the organization's roots is on the verge of breaking down.
"We'll walk downstairs to eat, and they'll get up and leave. Since I'm a senior I've watched the house grow a lot over the last four years, and girls have started to get super close," Coghan told the National Review.
She continued, "We were the strongest that I'd ever seen. Alumni have come back and told us how impressed they were with us. But after this happened, there was a huge shift and suddenly everything was politicized."
"We've not been the same since," Remar added.
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