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Delta Lambda Phi at CSULB offers brotherhood for LGBTQ community

Created by gay men for all men.

This is the motto of Delta Lambda Phi’s Rho Chapter, Long Beach State’s only LGBTQ+ fraternity. DLP puts a progressive twist on a conventional Greek institution, focusing on gay brotherhood rather than the traditional fraternity stereotypes. 

Vernon L. Strickland III founded the Delta Lambda Phi social fraternity in 1986 in Washington D.C. after deciding to create a club that promotes gay positivity and reliable membership.

Twelve members of the LGBTQ+ community opened the Rho chapter at CSULB in 1990 as a social space for gay, bisexual, and transgender men to develop as individuals and leaders.

“There needed to be a brave fraternity space for queer men to join and understand the idea of brotherhood,” said Brandon Ha, the Delta Lambda Phi President. 

Delta Lambda Phi is probably best known for its Draglicious event, the frat’s annual drag show. 

By celebrating all members’ forms of self-expression, such as embracing their feminine side through drag, Delta Lambda Phi challenges the traditionally masculine conventions of Greek life. DLP stays away from hazing, toxic masculinity, and discrimination against others based on their identities. 

“Brotherhood is having a second family on campus that is different than your one at home,” Ha said. “We count on each other constantly to help one another…we throw shade all the time, we poke fun at each other, but when the business needs to get done, it will be getting done no matter what.”

Strickland wanted to give gay men a progressive, Greek-inspired brotherhood with shared activities, platonic bonds and open doors in the LGBTQ community. 

Although most sororities are accepting of DLP, the group has struggled with negativity from other fraternities. According to Ha, DLP is slowly being accepted into the Greek community. 

"The gap between the ‘traditionally masculine’ fraternities and LGBT focused fraternities will eventually shrink as people become more aware of DLP’s existence and what the organization has done for diversity all over the country,” said Carlos Aguilera, a spokesperson and Delta Lambda Phi brother. “It’ll help show that there can be a space in the Greek system for everyone and there can be a unison.”

DLP’s Rho Chapter is considered a multi-based campus charter organization, whose members come from Long Beach City College and Cerritos College in addition to CSULB. DLP brothers meet in the University Student Union for their meetings, and they host social events around campus. 

“Delta Lambda Phi embraces diversity through our founding ideas of creating a safe space in the Greek system for all men, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender expression, in order to extend friendship to everyone in need,” Aguilera said. “Each brother has their own ideas and backgrounds, and we all embrace each other and celebrate those differences.”

On Nov. 1, Delta Lambda Phi is hosting its first pageant event in the USU ballrooms at 6 p.m. 

This event is significant for the pageant world, as it is the first to bring the three sorority councils together in a friendly competition. 

The three councils will vote on the best sorority candidate. In addition to formal wear, talent, and an interview, winners of the $300 prize will be selected based on academic excellence, service and fraternity and sorority values. 

“Being in a gay [and] bisexual fraternity allows me to be myself and understand what it is like to be in my own identity as a queer individual,” Ha said. “Something that Delta Lambda Phi offers us, the brothers, is the space to authentically showcase who we are without judgment, but with support and love.”

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