Updated: May 15
Exclusive | Interview | News & Opinion
Across the country, there are various images that come to mind when one hears the term "fraternity". One may think of strolling or a group of men banding together to form a lifelong affinity. However, the "bruhs" of Sigma Omega Phi Fraternity, Inc. are hoping to shake that image up a little bit.
Sigma Omega Phi Fraternity, Inc., (SOP) was founded in 2008 by Amber Moore. Moore's vision is to give a voice and safe space for masculine presenting women anchored by the spirit of “bruhhood”.
“We needed to be able to have a voice. We need to build our own bruhhood. It needed to be an understanding of who we are as masculine presenting women...," Moore tells Gaye Magazine.
Sigma Omega Phi’s mission is “to help our community grow, to share light, and to add positivity to what's happening in our community, especially when it comes to masculine-presenting women.”
The term “bruhhood” as described by the members of SOP is "a bond that is tied with unconditional love. A no-judgment zone..."
"...We talk about any and everything here. We have built friendships and relationships that will never be broken. And that's what our bruhhood symbolizes.”
Sigma Omega Phi is the only LGBTQ+ fraternity to be established at a collegiate level. Their inaugural induction took place at Texas Southern University in 2016 and they hope to continue to establish more chapters on the collegiate level in the near future.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) subscribes to the values of responsibility, equity and intersectionality, learning and openness, boldness, resilience, heart, respect, and lastly, community and teamwork. These same values align with the founding principles of “Bruhhood, Respect, Service, Leadership, Scholarship, Loyalty, Honor, Integrity and Strength” of Sigma Omega Phi Fraternity, Inc., which has now become their latest partner alongside the HRC.
Founded in 1982, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) was originally known as the Human Rights Campaign Fund. Initially intended as a fund to support pro-fairness congressional candidates, the HRC rebranded in 1995 to include the iconic yellow and blue equal sign that has now become synonymous with the HRC’s fight for equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community.
The “bruhs” of Sigma Omega Phi also prioritize community outreach in an attempt to incite effective change within the communities they serve. One such example is the initiative known as Duffels for Dignity, which essentially provides duffle bags for children that are entering the foster care system.
“Basically, in Georgia alone very few of them [children in foster care] had luggage to put anything in, even if they just wanted to put a teddy bear, they had to put it in like a garbage bag. And to see a two-year-old walk out of a home with no shoes on, barely any clothes on, and dragging this big black garbage bag with just a bunny rabbit in it, it's heartbreaking. So we said no, we didn't want that. I mean, we don't want them to have to leave their home, but we understand things happen.”
Sigma Omega Phi Inc. also raises funds for several organizations including the Lupus Society and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society as they have members that have been diagnosed with both.
Through their partnership with the Human Rights Campaign, Sigma Omega Phi wants more than anything to continue to educate and give a voice to members of the LGBTQ+ community, especially in spaces where masculine-presenting women find themselves in.
“Our voices are needed in that space, and they were wanted. And that was the biggest [thing] for us. Our voice is wanted. And no, we don't represent every stud out there, but we will make sure that the studs that are out there, we're gonna do our best to make sure that we speak for them."
The gentlewomen of Sigma Omega Phi Fraternity Inc. want to let any masculine presenting woman know that it’s okay “to authentically be yourself… There is nothing wrong with you.”