Attending the nation’s first degree-granting HBCU was a point of pride for our founders. But their time on campus was sometimes overshadowed by the blatant disregard and disrespect of queer bodies. From public forums where members of the student body openly denounced the LGBTQ+ community to the defacing of flyers posted by the local Gay-Straight Alliance, Lincoln University was both a mecca of Black excellence and an epicenter of toxic masculinity.
By 2008, our founders found refuge in a safe space created by their mentor, Dr. Albert Lee (he/him). He created a space for them to fellowship and engage in discussions about culture, education, spirituality, financial health, and social influence. Through these discussions, our founders forged a bond with each other that has sustained to this day.
In the middle of Anthony Fluellen’s (he/him) campaign to become the first openly gay Mr. Lincoln, our founders took a leap of faith and established a fraternity for gay and bisexual men. Beta Gamma Chi was founded on March 21, 2009, in Southeastern Pennsylvania, near the campus of Lincoln University by Anthony Fluellen, Gerald Dessus (he/him), and Khyle Wooten (he/him). They envisioned a brotherhood where members could walk boldly in their truth, would be innovative and would be unapologetic about their queerness.
After inducting the first two membership classes on August 29, 2009, and February 21, 2010, Khyle Wooten and Gerald Dessus proceeded to incorporate Beta Gamma Chi in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on April 23, 2010. By the end of that year, they expanded nationally with members attending Florida State University and Morgan State University. A decade later, we have members located in more than twenty cities across the United States, and we are investing in robust programming for the LGBTQ+ community at large.
2009: Held the first annual Walk for Brotherhood
2010: Launched the Am I Blue Project for queer youth and expanded to Maryland
2012-2014: Expanded to Texas, Ohio, and Georgia
2017: Launched the Service & Philanthropy program, launched the Don’t Let It Break You program, partnered with Omicron Psi Omega, Inc. to launch the annual Holiday Food Drive, and expanded to Delaware.
2018: Launched the annual Book Bag Drive supporting low-income queer youth, and expanded to New Jersey and New York.
2019: Launched the Queers Talking in Private program in Maryland and Ohio.
2020: Expanded the Q.T.I.P. program to Pennsylvania, launched virtual programming, and hosted our inaugural World AIDS Day benefit: Code Red.