Sunday, September 14

Not Affiliated with "Out on Rugby" - When I jokingly mentioned that there were already plenty of closeted gay guys on U.Va.'s fraternity row, I didn't realize they had a support group. (In contrast, the report that "In the last few years, two gay men have been presidents of their fraternities" comes as no surprise, heh.)

In a sense, the Greek Men's Club, the brainchild of an out gay DU member, fourth-year Matt Maring, is the opposite of the new OOR organization, with that club's emphasis on openly gay membership and queer confrontation with the old boy network on Rugby Road. Out on Rugby appears to be focused mainly on drawing attention to the lack of gay presence in the traditional haunts of Cavalier male-bonding. It's mostly about the political statement. You have to question whether its members would even want to join a "real" old-school fraternity. (I note OOR is recognized provisionally by the upstart Multicultural Greek Council, not the traditional Inter-Fraternity Council.)

GMC is something very different. It draws its membership from existing frats. But because those guys have bought in to the conservative social environment of Rugby Road, I have to assume they are closeted to most of their peers. As a result, GMC reaches its members by use of anonymous email dropboxes and closed meetings announced only to the trusted few.

The Greek Men's Club does share one similarity with other gay student groups, however -- its secondary(?) function as a dating service. How else to explain the promotional flyers posted around the Grounds with the eye-catching tag phrase "Tired of" I suppose that's no different than various other less-than-wholly-political gatherings -- especially of conservative gay men -- throughout history.

Funny thing, though: while conservative social groups and radical political groups start out at opposing positions, they frequently trend towards common ground. It wouldn't surprise me if closeted GMC members end up learning a thing or two about standing up for themselves, or if out-and-pround OOR guys find they have some common ground with fratboys after all.