“There Is No Ban” Zeta Phi Beta Apologizes For Document Banning Trans Women From The Sorority

May 15, 2019  |  

2017 Martin Luther King Jr. Day March and Rally

Source: Paras Griffin / Getty

Days ago, we reported that Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. released a document about requirements for new members.

The document containing the organizations “diversity statement” read:

“To be eligible to receive an invitation for membership and to hold membership, an individual must be a cisgender woman and must be committed to living a lifestyle of active service and sisterhood and she must typify the values, standards, morals, customs and attributes of finer women in her community and beyond.”

According to the Washington Blade, the stance was accepted by the sorority’s international executive board on Jan 12.

Now, the organization is stepping forward to address its exclusionary stance.

In a statement to ESSENCE, the sorority apologized for the document and stated that there is no ban of trans women.

“Since our founding on January 16, 1920, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. has sought to create a sorority that embraces and values all of our members,” the statement read. “Sadly, a previous diversity statement made by our organization fell short of that goal and for that, we offer our deepest apologies.”

The Zetas also noted that their membership “already includes transgender women. They have always been entitled to the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as any other member and shall retain the rights, privileges and responsibilities they were endowed with once they took the oath and became a member.”

They stated definitely, “To be clear, there is no ban.”

The sorority is currently updating their membership guidelines in order to “provide additional guidance to the organization.”

“We have always aimed to foster an inclusive and diverse sisterhood and remain committed to being an organization that embraces scholarship, provides true service and sets the standard for sisterly love.”

This is certainly a step in the right direction. We’ll see what the Zetas do in terms of activism and community service for the trans community going forward.

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