“It Tore Us Apart”: After Her Sorority Initiated a Male, KKG Member Says Sisterhood Will Never Be the Same

By Ashley McClure

Allison Coghan was looking for a “home away from home” when she decided to go through sorority rush at the University of Wyoming. Coghan said she longed for a tight-knit group of friends, and she found them in the women of Kappa Kappa Gamma (KKG). Coghan’s experience would be disrupted, however, by the desire of a male to access their female-only community. 

“I can’t really explain it, but there was something pulling me towards Kappa, and I think now that that was probably God’s way of saying that’s where I needed to be,” Coghan said. “Even though my senior year was a mess with everything that happened, I think that God really did want me to be there for that situation so that I could be here now, speaking up for women.”

Coghan’s senior year at the University of Wyoming was overshadowed by KKG’s decision to admit Artemis Langford, a male identifying as a transgender woman, into the sorority. According to Coghan, Langford’s initiation completely blindsided her and left her feeling betrayed by the organization she called home. Now, she said, her relationship with both KKG and her chosen sisters will never be the same. 

“It’s so heartbreaking to see how the Artemis situation changed everything, because we were all so close beforehand,” she said. “Politics didn’t matter, nobody cared about that, but after that situation, it really did tear us apart.”

The fall 2022 sorority rush season began like any other, Coghan said. Interested women toured different sororities, went on “dates” with active sorority members, and discerned which house felt right for them. Langford also participated in these events, but wasn’t accepted by any sorority over what Coghan described as “personality conflicts.” 

“Nobody really got along with the individual,” Coghan said. “We did talk about it behind closed doors, and we were kind of like, ‘We don’t really approve of this. This is weird. This is a female-only group. There’s other places. Why should we give up ours?’”

Coghan said she and her sisters felt “safe” after Langford was not admitted into KKG during formal recruitment. In reality, however, she said that sorority leadership was keeping members in the dark. 

“This individual was going on ‘dates’ with our membership chair and talking about membership, and we didn’t know about this,” she said. “They didn’t publicize it to the entire chapter. I was very blindsided […] I thought this was said and done.”

Eventually, sorority leadership told Coghan and her sisters that, although voting on membership had already occurred, they would be required to vote on Langford’s membership a second time.

The way the second vote was conducted, according to Coghan, was extremely unusual and pressured women into voting in favor of Langford’s admission by forcing them to attach their email to their vote, instead of the standard practice of voting anonymously.

“They did it on a night that not everyone was present, and they made us do it on our phones. They made us do it twice, and I think it’s because the first time they didn’t get the answer they wanted,” Coghan said. 

“They had the seniors stand up and give a speech about how, if you didn’t give this person membership, you were transphobic and a horrible person.”

The “scare tactics” and “bullying” that Coghan described were effective, and KKG admitted Langford as a member of the sorority. From that moment on, the sisterhood Coghan had enjoyed would never be the same. 

She described the aftermath of the vote as a “grieving process,” especially for fellow sorority members with histories of sexual assault by men. These women, Coghan said, were now forced to “allow a man 24/7 access to the place that [they] lived.”

Coghan said that, although she regrets not standing up and challenging sorority leadership during the second vote, the lessons she learned from that experience will stay with her forever. 

“Just because an adult or your supervisor or somebody with more experience than you says something, that doesn’t mean that it’s right,” she said. 

While she now pursues her “dream” career as a saleswoman in the agricultural industry, Coghan has continued her activism to preserve women’s spaces.

“I’m reminded every day of how important this fight is, and that I’m not doing this for me,” she said. “I’m doing this for future generations, my niece and my cousin, so that they can enjoy all of these things that I got the chance to enjoy and not have to fight for it.”

For more information about our Stand Up For Sisterhood stories, click here.
By uploading your photo or video, you agree to our story submission terms.

Sign Up For Updates

  • Become a Mobile Insider. Text WOMAN to 40442 to opt in. Sign up for recurring informational messages from IWF. Msg&data rates may apply. Terms & Privacy Policy.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.