Kit Steinkellner
September 17, 2015 7:27 am

It’s been a year of triumphs for the transgender community. As more people are educated about gender fluidity, we see more and more doors open for those who identify as trans. There are also a growing number of trans victories that call for celebration. A few months ago, the first agency for trans models opened in the United States, this past week a trans girl was named her high school’s homecoming queen, and this week, over at Missouri State University, the sorority Xi Omicron Iota just changed their bylaws to open the sorority to trans inclusivity. The sorority’s bylaws previously stated that a person had to “be a girl” to join the sorority, and now, in the updated rules, they say a person has to “identify as a girl,” to join the sorority. Effective immediately.

This was a thrilling win for Kara Venzian, the junior Xi Omicron Iota who spearheaded the rule change.

“When I proposed it to the chapter, there was no one against it,” Venzian explained to the Springfield News-Leader. “It passed with flying colors.”

Indeed, when the 75 active members of the sorority voted on this issue, the vote was unanimous. Every single member of Xi Omicron wanted to open their arms to trans pledges.

“Transgender equality is a hot topic right now and it’s something everyone is paying attention to,” sorority president Danielle Marquard, told the News-Leader. “We have a lot of open and welcoming women in the chapter.”

Although no trans women have pledged in the past, within hours a trans woman reached out to sorority vice president Liz Lersch to thank the sisterhood for their move towards inclusivity.

“She said she wished she had something like that,” Lersch told the News-Leader. “When I read that, it just touched my heart.”

We love that this sorority’s vote resulted in a unanimous mandate to open their hearts and expand their definition of sisterhood. Xi Omicron Iota is a role model organization that demonstrates exactly what a sorority should be — a group where all kinds of girls can come together to feel loved, supported, and included. We hope other sororities take note and that this is just the beginning of a mass redefinition of sorority sisterhood.

What Laverne Cox told a 7-year-old trans girl and why it matters

Here’s how the Girl Scouts are fighting transphobia

Images via Facebook

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