The Term "Sxster"

As of April 11th, the Alpha Eta Chapter of Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc. has officially voted on the usage of “sxster” to refer to members of the local chapter. Please read the remainder of our statement to learn the context behind this usage and resources for more information on gender inclusivity.

As the Alpha Eta Chapter continues to grow, we realize the importance of checking in with our pillars and platform to ensure they effectively reflect our mission of inclusivity and awareness. While the usage of “sxster” is not an all-perfect term, we hope to embody our pillar of Sisterhood while also being inclusive of gender non-conforming and LGBTQ+ individuals.

 

The National Board of Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc. provides the following on their Transgender and Non-Gender Conforming Policy:

"Kappa Phi Lambda, Sorority, Inc. is welcoming of all sorority members and potential new members that identify as cisgender, transgender, or gender-nonconforming women, which includes but is not limited to individuals who are:

  • assigned female at birth and female-identifying

  • assigned female at birth and gender non-conforming identifying, and whose gender identity associates with womanhood

  • assigned male at birth and female-identifying

  • assigned male at birth and gender non-conforming identifying, and whose gender identity associates with womanhood"

In 2018, The National Board of Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc. has clarified the usage of the pillar Sisterhood with the following:

"The term 'sister' in Kappa Phi Lambda is used to designate a member of the sorority. Within the organization, it is not a gendered term and will be continued to be used. However, if there is a member at the local chapter/associate chapter who would prefer [other] terms, the local chapter/associate chapter should respect their wishes and make that terminology change at the local level." 

A problem with using "x" is that the term "womxn" can do more to exclude and single out transgender individuals than include them since a transgender individual identifies with womanhood the same way a cis individual does.  The usage of  "x" to replace a commonly perceived gendered term, such as sister, may thus be interpreted as being ignorant of the issue without the context behind our decision. With this in mind, our intention for the usage of the term “sxster” is to use it as an all-encompassing term to make sure every one of our members feels accurately represented, not as a way to single out or exclude any individuals. 

 

As such, the term “sxster” will be reflected within the following areas:

  1. Internally, whether this may be within chapter-hosted activities or individually

  2. On all social media content referring to the Alpha Eta chapter

  3. The use of “Sxsterhood Chair” in place of the former “Sisterhood Chair”

 

Sisterhood as one of our three pillars will remain per National Board policy. Furthermore, as we continue to welcome new members into our chapter, these changes may and will be redefined as needed in order to best represent and provide the most comfortable and inclusive space for the current Active House. 

 

Sincerely,

The Alpha Eta Chapter of Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc. 


The following resources were used in our discussion:

 

https://www.lifeworkspsychotherapy.com/react-accidentally-misgendering-someone/ 

 

https://medium.com/awaken-blog/pronouns-101-why-they-matter-and-what-to-do-and-not-do-if-you-misgender-someone-cfd747c762d1 

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/04/magazine/gender-nonbinary.html

 

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/jun/29/non-binary-four-teens-explain-gender-genderqueer-generation