Emerson Frat Raises Money For Trans Brother’s Sexual Reassignment Surgery

You hear a lot of crappy things about fraternities–often deservedly so–so it’s nice to have a positive story come out of frat-land. Members of the Phi Alpha Tau chapter at Emerson College have raised funds so that one of their pledges can get top surgery. Sophomore Visual & Media Arts student Donnie Collins came out as transgender in high school, and pledged to the frat earlier this year. Collins attended an all-female boarding school and lamented that while his fellow students were all very nice, “it was all horrible.”

Collins doesn’t have any insurance support for his hormonal therapy or sexual reassignment surgery–and Emerson’s health insurance excludes such therapies. So far, he’s been paying out of pocket, and trans hormone therapies are not cheap. “I’d go to the endocrinologist and pay hundreds of dollars out of pocket, because, of course, I didn’t have insurance of my own,” he said.

Collins’ frat brothers started an Indiegogo fundraising campaign, and contributed their own funds in support of the procedure. The fund currently has nearly $5,000 in it. The procedure costs a little more than $8,000 in total. For his part, Collins is thrilled but not surprised by his frat’s generosity.

“I was just like, ‘Oh that’s such a Tau thing to do,’ and I didn’t even think it was that weird,” he said. “But then I started sending [the indiegogo link] out to people, and they were like, ‘Oh my god, that’s amazing! See, Greek Life isn’t bad; it’s amazing.’” [Out]