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‘I Am Not Transgender’ — Alabama Student Dropped By Every Sorority During Rush Week Addresses Misconceptions

Photo: TikTok/Instagram
Grant Sikes, Alabama Rush

As TikTok goes crazy for another year of the viral Alabama Rush, one potential new member of Bama's sorority recruitment garnered lots of attention — Grant Sikes, a student at the University of Alabama.

Sikes, who lists her pronouns as she/her/hers on her TikTok profile, quickly became TikTok's "main character" of the many Bama Rush videos that dominated this year.

Last year, #BamaRush or #RushTok dominated the app with hundreds of sorority candidates sporting their vibrant outfits and personalities in hopes of getting recruited to one of the nineteen sororities on The University of Alabama campus. 

Alabama has one of the largest pledge classes in the country, with 2,500-3,000 potential new members rushing for the fall recruitment each year. In 2021, around 2,500 people rushed to a sorority on campus. 2,307 received a bid. 

RELATED: Alabama Rush TikToker Makayla Culpepper Dropped From Every Sorority Just Days After Saying She's Mixed Race

This year, Sikes was one of TikTok's most talked about candidates of the rush season which started on August 6 and ended with bid day on August 14.

After being dropped by every single sorority and grabbing a lot of media attention, Sikes took to TikTok to address some of the rumors and misconceptions about what happened. 

Why was Grant Sikes dropped from every sorority at the University of Alabama during Bama Rush week?

Sadly, on Saturday, August 12th, Grant Sikes revealed that she has been dropped from all sororities on the University of Alabama campus, saying it did not come as a surprise considering all but two had dropped her before the first day even began. 

"Hi everyone, it's Grant," began the statement in her Instagram post. "First and foremost, I would like to thank my family, friends and everyone who has come along during this journey with me. From the thousands of messages to meeting the funniest people, I had the best time.

"Unfortunately this chapter is closed. This recruitment journey is over for me. Being dropped from my last house this morning during primary recruitment at the University of Alabama doesn't come as a surprise considering out of the almost 20 chapters I was dropped by every single one except 2 before day 1: Gamma Phi Beta and Kappa Alpha Theta. 

"I'm hopeful for a future where everyone is welcomed for just being themselves —everywhere. 

"If you are going through a hard time today, remember that life is too short to ponder on the things lost. Choose happiness & always look for the positive things throughout life. Move on. See the good. See the bad. Hope for the best. Brave the worst. 

"Looking back on this past week, SO many amazing opportunities have come my way. In my inital application papers, I paid tribute to my Grandma who passed away this year with Alzheimer's. I know that she is so proud. Nana, this is just the beginning." 

Grant Sikes has said she is nonbinary, not transgender.

Taking to TikTok after being dropped during Rush, Sikes told her followers that she wanted to address rumors that surrounded her bid process.

"I am not transgender," she stated in the video, explaining that many news outlets labeled her as a transgender woman, "My sex is male, I was born male. I'm just nonbinary. I live my life as Grant."

   

   

"I do not fit in with a fraternity. That's not my scene, that's not relatable," she added, explaining that she is more comfortable around women and was disappointed to not be part of a sisterhood.

She also addressed her politics, telling followers her political leanings are none of their business.  

Grant Sikes was #BamaRush TikTok's main character, according to her TikTok followers.

Sikes was being praised by her followers for challenging Greek Life's lack of queer representation. 

When Bama Rush season started, she posted TikTok videos of herself displaying her day-to-day outfits (called OOTD, outfit of the day) for the process and keeping followers updated on her journey. 

   

   

“Wish me luck!” she told followers in one of her viral videos on which several fans declared her their main character and a favorite of this season.

“The only person I will be rooting for,” one user wrote. 

However, rumors circulated early that Grant Sikes was being dropped from all Alabama sororities. 

The rumor appeared to be untrue at the time as Sikes continued to post about the rush process, but her followers have expressed concerns that her trans identity could make her vulnerable to Alabama's conservative views. It looks like the rumors were partially true as she was dropped from most houses almost immediately, according to her Instagram statement. 

   

   

“I was rooting for her but Alabama sororities are not these super progressive groups, unfortunately,” one TikTok user commented. “I mean they just desegregated less than 10 years ago. These groups are not worth the fame and attention they’re getting by a landslide.” 

RELATED: Alabama Passes Law Forcing Teachers To Out Transgender Students Without Their Consent

Sororities are not as “sisterly” and inclusive as they claim to be, and not every potential new member has a fair shot.

Even if this day and age, trans females are often turned away when they are rushing. As for nonbinary students, neither sororities nor fraternities have publicly declared whether students who don't fit into gender binaries have a place in their organizations. 

There are 26 major national sororities in the U.S. Only three of them (Delta Gamma, Sigma Sigma Sigma, and Kappa Kappa Gamma) have formal policies stating that they are inclusive of trans women. 

Many people believe that the decision of where to place transgender individuals among Greek organizations should not be left in the hands of 18-22-year-olds who lack proper diversity training and that universities should be doing more to establish inclusive policies. 

In some instances, trans students are denied entry into sororities simply because of their gender category. 

Jessica Pettitt, a former college administrator, and consultant tells Cosmopolitan that over the last decade at least five national Greek organizations have considered adopting policies that would deny transgender students membership. 

In 2016, Adam Davies, a transgender male and student at Northwestern University seeking new friends and opportunities by joining a sorority, was dropped from all 12 organizations that he rushed for. 

Although his gender was not stated to be the reason behind his denied entry, many believed that the odds were stacked against him because of his transition. 

Grant Sikes rushed in a state known for anti-trans laws.

The state of Alabama has been pushing to stifle the rights of trans youths in recent years.

In April, legislators passed The Alabama Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act which makes it a felony for medical providers to administer hormones and puberty blockers to those under the age of 19 wishing to affirm their gender identity. 

Yet, if nothing else, Sikes played a huge role in challenging Alabama's outdated ideas on gender and gender expression.

She has inspired many TikTokers to push fear of not being accepted aside and to take the risk and pursue the things they desire. 

   

   

“Thank you for this. You have no idea what this does for babies everywhere wondering if they’ll fit in or being terrified to take that leap,” one user wrote. 

“So proud to witness this.” 

RELATED: What Being Transgender Feels Like 

Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.   

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