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Who is Artemis Langford? Trans Woman Accused of Peeping in Sorority House

Newsweek 3/31/2023 Aleks Phillips
The Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority house in Laramie, Wyoming as seen in August 2019 and, inset, a transgender flag on November 20, 2022 in Rome, Italy. © Stefano Montesi/Google/Getty Images The Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority house in Laramie, Wyoming as seen in August 2019 and, inset, a transgender flag on November 20, 2022 in Rome, Italy.

A transgender woman has been accused of peeping inappropriately at members of a sorority in Wyoming, in a lawsuit by current and former members over the decision to allow her to join.

The person, identified under the pseudonym Terry Smith in legal documents, made those living in the Kappa Kappa Gamma house in Laramie, near the University of Wyoming campus, feel uncomfortable by "voyeuristically peeping on them" and on occasion has had an "erection visible" while watching other members, according to the lawsuit.

The complaints speak to a wider debate about the inclusion of transgender women in female issues and spaces. Some argue transgender women should be treated the same as other women, while others claim they are different and wish to protect women's rights and privacy.

Feminists who are against transgender inclusion often cite cases in which men have masqueraded as a woman to gain access to female spaces. In January, a transgender woman convicted of two counts of rape in Scotland sparked controversy over whether she should serve her sentence in a women's prison.

The Cowboy State Daily identified the transgender woman in the lawsuit as Artemis Langford, who made headlines in 2022 following the decision by the Kappa Kappa Gamma sisterhood to allow her to join.

The lawsuit, reportedly brought against the sorority, its council president and Langford, alleges this was done without respecting the organization's governing rules. The plaintiffs, who are anonymized, are said not to be seeking damages but want the court to void Langford's membership.

According to court documents obtained by Cowboy State Daily, Smith lives outside of the sorority house but would often be there to socialize. The lawsuit alleged that Smith, while watching members enter the house, "had an erection visible through his leggings" and on other occasions "had a pillow in his lap."

On one occasion, Smith reportedly watched another member, dressed only in a towel, go to take a shower on the house's private second floor and felt an "unsettling presence" before seeing Smith "watching her silently."

In another alleged incident, one woman changed her top without wearing a bra while not realizing Smith was in the room staring at her, and other women noted later that Smith had "his hands over his genitals" and has since "repeatedly asked about her romantic attachments."

The lawsuit reportedly claims that Smith has not undergone any treatment to appear more feminine, and had expressed a sexual interest in women. It further alleges that the induction vote regarding Smith used a Google poll, which required members to sign in, compromising the anonymity of their vote.

Newsweek reached out to Langford via direct message and Kappa Kappa Gamma via email for comment on Friday.

In a statement to CBS News, Kari Kittrell Poole, Kappa Kappa Gamma's executive director, said the lawsuit "contains numerous false allegations" but declined to comment in detail.

In a March 6 tweet, the Wyoming Democrats named Langford "the BEST Legislative intern," adding that it had been able to keep supporters engaged in the legislative session "in large part due to Artemis's hard work."

In a Twitter thread on March 4, Langford said of her time as an intern: "This session, I've cried, I've laughed with joy and I've been angry. I don't know if that's the human experience but I only hope that I did my part as best as I could."

Newsweek reached out to the Wyoming Democratic Party via email for comment.

Langford has been a staff writer for Branding Iron, the University of Wyoming student newspaper, since August 2022, according to its website, and "enjoys kayaking, astronomy, researching, reading, and being a fervent ferroequinologist," the latter being someone with an interest in trains.

Her profile page says Langford majors in history and, after graduating, wishes to attend law school so she can become a civil rights lawyer.

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