Sharron Fincher said, “something magical happens” when the Alpha Psi Kappa Fraternity comes together.
“It’s such a positive experience,” she said about being a part of the third oldest Greek lettered fraternity for women who identify as masculine of center. Alpha Psi Kappa is a non-profit, non-collegiate, social service organization established on February 20, 2002 in Tallahassee, Florida on the campus of Florida State University.
Fincher, whose Greek line name is Bruh S. ArKhitekt, is the National Executive Director of Alpha Psi Kappa. She is also a member of the Detroit Police Department LGBTQ Action Team and is the facilitator for the Woman 2 Woman program at LGBT Detroit.
Fincher founded the Debonair Alpha Delta Colony in Detroit on November 17, 2011. Since then, she and Bruh A. AkolADe Hall, Colony President, and Bruh K. GraVity Gaffney, Colony Vice President, have been recruiting members who want to give back to their community, stand on the side of justice for all people and exhibit the characteristics of leadership, cooperation and patience.
“It’s crazy how we mesh,” said Fincher. “It feels good to talk with people who are similar to you. I mean, nobody’s exactly alike, but it doesn’t matter. We are each other’s support system.”
As an MOC woman, Fincher defies the societal stereotype associated with her outward appearance – aggressive, someone to be feared, unfriendly – which she wrote about recently as a guest author for the Wayne County Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner’s Program. The article is titled, “The Skin I’m In.”
“It’s hard sometimes,” she said about tilting toward the masculine side of the gender spectrum. “People look at you and judge you. They don’t think you’re a nice person until they talk to you, get to know you and warm up to you.”
Taking an oath with a fraternity that dispels all that negativity has changed Fincher, who no longer feels limited and is much more in tune with herself at 40 years old.
“There were a lot of obstacles I had to overcome,” she said. “I wish I found this when I was younger. I think I’d be a lot further along in life.”
Fincher and her Bruhs are giving younger women someone to look up to and something to look forward to.
“I was real soft spoken and now I speak up more. This really helped build my confidence,” said Bruh C. KAlypso Dawson, who crossed over from being a pledge to a full member of the fraternity with Bruh T. RocK SteADy Simmons in May.
“People are really interested in what I’m doing. They are proud of me,” said Simmons. “This helps me emotionally, mentally and physically because I’m going through so much in my life. This is something I want to do and it will help me with my future. It’s such a positive environment. I can stop worrying about negativity and focus on what’s important.”
Fincher said she has seen “crazy transformations” from Dawson and Simmons in a short period of time. “It makes you feel like what you’re doing is worthwhile,” she said. “That’s what this is all about.”
When the Bruhs are out recruiting, they might seem intimidating in their khaki and baby blue getup, walking around with their Kappa Kanes and paddles, but they represent more than what people see on the outside.
Alpha Psi Kappa completes over 1800 hours of community service annually. The organization has three national service initiatives – Habitat for Humanity, March of Dimes and Stand Up for Kids – that are ongoing through the year with a host of local community initiatives taking place in 31 colonies and five chapters across the U.S.
There are more than 150 active members in cities like Detroit, North Carolina, Missouri, Illinois, New York, Florida and Virginia.
The organization attracts Bruhs from a variety of professional fields that learn from and support one another. In an effort to stay connected, Alpha Psi Kappa hosts an annual LGBT Greek Networking Conference.
“The family that you gain through this gives you an awesome support system from people that have been through things that you’ve been through or things that you’re going through that you can’t talk to your cousin about because they’re heterosexual and they have no clue what your daily life is like – going to work dressed masculine, just walkin’ on the street, even walkin’ in the bathroom. The support of this organization helps you to no longer be in that shell,” said Gaffney, who crossed in Alabama before relocating to Detroit.
Around that time when her grandmother died, it was her Bruhs who were there for her.
“It was my best experience,” she said. “You might have never met them before, but if you’re in need, your Bruhs will come pick you up wherever you’re at, no questions asked to spend time with you, like it’s nothing. We are each other’s family sometimes.”
Gaffney said it’s not all business all the time, and the Alpha Delta Colony makes time for fun beyond the work they do.
“We still have our life. We go to the clubs and we do karaoke. We’ll meet up to eat or go to sporting events. We hang out at each other’s houses to grill, laugh and talk for hours,” she said.
But they must stay true to the Alpha Psi Kappa motto, “The WoMen in Service with Unity.” Gaffney said, “That’s the number one thing. You need to make sure that’s what you’re about – serving your community.”
The Kappa Phamily
What started as the Kappa Psi Kappa Fraternity, Inc. on August 17, 2001 in Tallahassee, Florida, has grown into Tau Kappa Phi, Inc., the “Kappa Phamily,” comprised of five different organizations that are constitutionally bonded and are the only Greek lettered Phamily of its kind. For more information, visit http://www.facebook.com/TauKappaPhiIncorporated/.
Kappa Psi Kappa Fraternity, Inc.
An organization for men
Alpha Psi Kappa Fraternity, Inc.
An organization for dominant lesbians
Phi Nu Kappa Sorority, Inc.
An organization for feminine women
Alpha Omega Kappa Fraternity, Inc.
An organization for trans men
Kappa Iota Sigma Sorority, Inc.
An organization for transwomen