December 9th, 2008



I joined a fraternity in college. But I joined it for all the wrong reasons. I had no desire to be a member. Instead, “fraternity row” was right next to the engineering building, and I wanted cheap housing. I only paid $50 a month for a room. And that was at a time of my life when some months I was worried about finding the $50 to pay the rent. Looking back, I was a bad fraternity member. I kept to myself, played my music too loud, and grabbed the biggest and best room myself that had a private deck. I was not a team player, and a terrible “brother” to the fraternity. Part of me feels bad about that, but not really.

Greek letters

By 1990, the glory days of hazing were over. There were enough deaths from forced drinking that the university claimed a “zero tolerance” policy towards initiation rituals. They still went on, of course, but they were far more tame than in the seventies and eighties. Still, the hazing was one reason I wanted to join a fraternity. In college, I didn’t know I was gay, and I definitely didn’t know I was kinky, but there was something about the idea of an initiation that terrified me and excited me at the same time. I thought about it all the time while I was a pledge.

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