Delta Lambda Phi works to break stereotypes

A fraternity becoming chartered at Georgia State is opening its doors to males of all sexual orientations.

Ontario Smith, a junior and president of Delta Lambda Phi (DLP), said he wants to build the presence of DLP on campus by creating somewhere where male students can come together to make friends, get involved in community service and form a community on campus.

According to Smith, the mission of Georgia State’s DLP is to build a brotherhood for all men, regardless of their orientation.

“I want people to be able to be themselves and it’s an opportunity to add diversity to this school, because this school is known for its diversity,” Ontario said. Delta Lambda Phi Interest Group-1CMYK

Members of DLP also want to break stereotypes and stigmas that are associated with men who are not straight.

“I want people to see that gay people and bisexual people are more than just our sexuality. We are doctors, aspiring lawyers, journalists, or musicians. We are more than that, and we are decent,” Ontario said.

Smith said that the fraternity, which currently has 22 members, has been approved as a colony through Delta Lambda Phi’s national headquarters but are now trying to get recognized by the school through their petition in order to become affiliated with Georgia State.

DLP’s petition is under review and they are waiting to here back from the Greek Council.

“There are two sides to it. Getting chartered here at school is a different process,” Smith said.

According to DLP’s website, the fraternity was founded in 1986 in Washington D.C. by Vernon L. Strickland III. Today, there are over 30 different chapters throughout the United States and one in Quebec, Canada.

Ontario got the idea of creating a fraternity before he transferred to Georgia State in fall 2013 because he wanted to join a fraternity, but he didn’t know how he would be able to connect with the fraternities already established.

“I feel like I would be able to relate to guys that kind of have the same situation or who have went through some of the same things that I’ve gone through or are gay like me, so I thought this would be good. I [said], ‘why don’t I just start one myself?'” Ontario said.

To begin the process, Ontario researched gay fraternities online. He saw Delta Lambda Phi. He then contacted the chapter interest group coordinator via the DLP website.

Ontario was then sent the colonization and standards information with all the steps that were going to have to be carried out. From there, Ontario started looking for potential group members who were interested in joining DLP.

Daquan Craven, a member and peer-mentor of DLP, heard about it when Ontario told him about it in class.

He said he joined DLP because he wanted to create a ripple effect through education in school, DLP’s mission and helping others.

“It makes me proud to be a part of this organization,” Craven said.

Craven also said that he wants to inspire people to become better as well as better himself.

“It’s easier to inspire when you are with an organization than on your own,” Craven said.

Charles Chakkalapadavil, a member of DLP, found out about the fraternity when he went to an interest meeting and met Vice President Patrick Faerber.

“I wanted to be a part of DLP, because I want to be a part of a brotherhood, to be with people that share the same experiences as me,” Chakkalapadavil said.

Through DLP, Chakkalapadavil hopes to make a statement in Atlanta and show that the fraternity is there to represent their community. He also hopes to be respected by everyone else and break stereotypes.

“I’m excited for everyone to see who we are and to make our voice heard in the city,” he said.

Patrick Faerber found out about DLP through Ontario at one of Georgia State’s LGBT events and later joined.

“It really reaches out to the niche group of gay, bisexual and progressive men and it is a great place for them to come together and make new friends where they might have felt like they didn’t fit in in a more traditional fraternity,” Faerber said.