A Sad Day for Kappa?

A Sad Day for Kappa?: An open letter to my fraternity brothers

Originally written October 10, 2012 

Robert Brown & Nathaneal Gay's Wedding

Brothers All,

Over the last several days, news regarding the union of Robert Brown and Nathaneal Gay has exposed Black homophobia yet again. While only one-half of the union is a actually a member of Kappa Alpha Psi (which is rather irrelevant altogether), Greeks and non-Greeks alike have opposed and mocked the couple's milestone. In my own e-mail, various messages from listservs arrived without haste, one of which had a subject line reading "Oh No, Sad Day for Kappa." Really? Why is this a sad day for Kappa? 

Per my absence at this past weekend's fraternity meeting, I was attending the wedding of my mentor, Dr. Shaun Harper, a Spring 1998 initiate into the Albany State University Chapter, the Delta Xi of Kappa Alpha Psi. He, too, married his male partner of five years, a non-member, but was supported by no less than 20 NUPES who were in attendance. It was one of the most loving and warming wedding celebrations in which I have participated and attended. Are Dr. Harper's achievements as a par excellent scholar and tenured professor at an Ivy League institution no greater or reflective of Kappa because of his love for a male partner? I think not.

Shaun Harper and Shawn Hill's Wedding

As a scholar who studies gender and sexuality, one who's working with our young men to move beyond homophobia and heterosexism, I believe such same-sex unions of our fellow Brothers makes us all realize the true meaning of our purpose of achievement, beyond the assumption of a man's heterosexuality as a prerequisite. There is no sadness in the companionship of persons, most especially those of Kappamen dedicated to the task of honorable achievement, regardless of sexuality.

While we certainly reserve the right to our opinions on same-sex unions, I would hope that such positions could remain separate of our organization's fundamental purpose and objectives, which are non-discriminatory in their spirit. The quality of our membership cannot be defined by our sexual orientations but by the merits of our achievements in all that serves to promote the welfare of humanity.

Yours in the Bond,

•HF•