By Clair McFarland, Cowboy State Daily
A sorority at the University of Wyoming accepted its first openly-transgender sister in the college’s history, a student newspaper announced last week.
Artemis Langford, of Lander, became the first open-transgender student to be accepted into the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority in September, according to the Branding Iron, UW’s student newspaper.
Born male, Langford identifies as a woman and attended high school in Lander.
Langford declined to comment to Cowboy State Daily, referring the outlet to KKG’s national headquarters. The sorority did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Langford expressed joy and pride to the Branding Iron in an Oct. 12 story, saying, “I feel so glad to be in a place that I think not only shares my values, but to be in a sisterhood of awesome women that want to make history.”
Langford told the Branding Iron the sorority sisters “want to break the glass ceiling, trailblazing you know, and I certainly feel that as their first trans member, at least in the chapter, in Wyoming history.”
Kappa Kappa Gamma in a list of guidelines for sisters about LGBTQ members wrote that it is a single-gender organization comprised of people who identify as women. The sorority does not discriminate in membership selection, the document states, “except by requiring good scholarship and ethical character.”
‘See Me As Who I Am’
Langford told the Branding Iron that there may be complications to being “the first,” and that there are bound to be detractors.
“But to those detractors I say that I understand where you’re coming from, but at the end of the day I wish that they would see me as who I am,” said Langford.
There have been detractors: multiple community members reached out to Cowboy State Daily with concerns about living situations and facilities usage in the sorority home. However, those people declined to be identified or comment publicly out of fear for social repercussions.
The university has taken no stance. UW spokesman Chad Baldwin told Cowboy State Daily that sororities are private organizations that have contract agreements to house members on campus – in an area called fraternity/sorority row – but they are not funded by the college.
“So we really don’t have any comment,” said Baldwin.