In honor of our seven Founders, we get to know one Alpha Chi Omega through seven questions.
Each June, we recognize LGBTQ Pride Month. Alpha Chi Omega shares informative resources and highlights the individual experiences of sisters who identify as LGBTQ – like Kate Smith, a collegiate member of our Zeta Omicron (Vanderbilt University) chapter. The chapter’s vice president risk management, Kate is excited to celebrate her first Pride Month since being out as bisexual!
What drew you to Alpha Chi Omega?
I was drawn to Alpha Chi by how genuine everyone was during the recruitment process. I was looking for a home away from home, and the women of Alpha Chi welcomed me so easily that it felt like the place I was meant to be.
How has Alpha Chi Omega played a part in your collegiate experience?
Alpha Chi Omega has played a part in my collegiate experience by giving me a place to belong on campus. For me, school is quite far from home, and I didn’t know anyone else going to Vanderbilt. I struggled to feel like I had a place where I fit in. Alpha Chi has not only become my home on campus, but has provided me women who will support me wherever I am.
What does being a real, strong woman mean to you?
Being a real, strong woman means making yourself vulnerable. Being authentic and genuine can be a very intimidating thing, but the world only gets one you. Accepting yourself for who you are helps to lift others up and make the world a better place.
How do you break the sorority stereotype?
I break the sorority stereotype by being exactly who I am every day. I am an introvert who struggles with anxiety, but I am a person who takes charge. I have two jobs on campus, I pay my own dues and I talk candidly about my financial situation. I am a huge nerd who plays video games and loves theatre, but I go out and have fun just like the rest of my sisters. I break the sorority stereotype by existing in contrast with myself. I am not defined by any one thing that I do, but rather the amalgamation of experiences that make up my life.
How has your bisexual identity been part of your Alpha Chi experience?
Some of my sisters were actually the first people I came out to. I know that they love and support me for who I am, and coming out to them felt easy. Since coming out, I have been able to relate to some of my sisters who are also bisexual and/or identify as part of the LGBTQ community, and it has been so incredible of be part of such an accepting community.
What are you most excited to share with your sisters about Pride Month?
I am excited to share my first Pride Month being out with my sisters. I know some of my sisters have been out longer than I have and/or are more familiar with events surrounding Pride than I am, so I am excited to hear from others!
How has the sisterhood of Alpha Chi Omega supported you?
My sisters have supported me through every step of my college journey. Since the day I met them, I have never had to face a challenge alone. From learning how to drive and navigating Nashville to panicking about tests and presentations, I always have someone to count on. If I want to try something new or go to a concert, there’s always someone there to go with me. My sisters lend me clothes and a shoulder to cry on, go with me everywhere from Trader Joe’s to Chattanooga, and stand by me through every crisis, big and small.