Alpha Chi Upsilon creates unique sisterhood

For those searching for female bonding, Alpha Chi Upsilon is waiting with arms open to lesbians everywhere.

Wanting to create a unique sisterhood filled with diversity and unity, April Blair founded the Alpha Chi Upsilon Sorority (AXY) in July 2005. The sorority has grown during the past year with four chapters sprouting up in Memphis, Houston, Philadelphia, and more recently in Nashville.

“I realized that there was a large need for more diversity in the lesbian community. I wanted to found an organization where women of all backgrounds, races, and classifications could come together in the name of unity, diversity, and sisterhood,” Blair said.

Members do not have to be students to join Alpha Chi Upsilon; however, all members are expected to uphold the sorority’s professional name and, therefore, must be employed or a student to be an active member.

“AXY is considered a non-collegiate sorority. We allow women the opportunity to pledge who were denied the experience because of their sexual orientation or who feel that they were not able to truly be themselves in the college sorority they may previously have joined,” Blair said.

The sorority does not exclude members of certain races, gender identities, or sexual orientations. The whole rainbow—and its allies—are invited to rush.

Erin Swinney and her partner, Jennifer Lake, founded the Nashville chapter.

“As founding members we have been given a certain amount of freedom with choosing an area of the GLBT community to focus on. For the Gamma Chapter, we want to delve into GLBT history and help GLBT teens, especially those who have been evicted for who they are,” Swinney said.

Alpha Chi Upsilon is active in the community and volunteers for AIDS awareness and safe sex awareness. They hold monthly mixers and town hall meetings to discuss items that affect the gay community as a whole.

The Gamma Chapter has four members and is excited about expanding in the Middle Tennessee area.

“Whether you are masculine, feminine or a bit of both, there is a place for you in Alpha Chi Upsilon Sorority,” Swinney said.

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