Artemis Langford, the first transgender member of a sorority at the University of Wyoming, said there is a feeling of “great relief” after a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit filed by Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority sisters challenging Langford’s induction.
The sisters alleged Langford made members feel unsafe and uncomfortable, but Wyoming U.S. District Court Judge Alan Johnson said he was unable to change how a private and voluntary organization defines a woman.
No definition of “woman” is held within the sorority’s bylaws, so the judge said he would be unable to impose the one sought by the plaintiffs.
Langford shared the experience of the lawsuit with MSNBC.
Artemis Langford, a trans woman whose sorority admission was contested by fellow members, speaks out after a judge dismissed the lawsuit:
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) September 5, 2023Announcement
“I am very glad to have such great and supportive sisters in my chapter,” Langford said. “I think, as a sorority, Kappa to me demonstrates so much about very wonderful values from loyalty to courage to trailblazing, such very smart people that I’m so glad to have on my side.”
“I think it’s just a very difficult experience because no one was expecting to be there and to be in that kind of situation, and now, it’s been a great relief that perhaps it can finally be over.”
At least six sisters of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority contested the admission of Langford, whom they accused of actions that led to sisters feeling uneasy.
The transgender student remained in the common areas for hours and stared at the women without speaking, according to the lawsuit.
“One sorority member walked down the hall to take a shower, wearing only a towel. She felt an unsettling presence, turned, and saw [Langford] watching her silently,” the lawsuit read.
Langford wants to stay so people can understand that “it’s never OK for that kind of scrutiny on a person just because of identity,” the student said.
“I hope that even if there’s one person out there that their identity is being attacked that it’s OK to be who they are, and it’s never OK to be attacked on their identity, whether it’s because of their race, their gender identity, their sexual orientation, religion, or creed. Every day that they can be themselves is a good day for us all.”