One of the more common complaints about any positive press about progress in the LGBT community is that you rarely hear about the T. It’s getting better for gays, and lesbians, and bisexuals, but where’s the love for trans set?
Emerson College sophomore Donnie Collins pledged Phi Alpha Tau as a prospective brother earlier this year. What must have made joining a brotherhood so special for Collins is that he was born female, only coming out as transgender at 17 while attending a boarding school and living in an all-girls dorm, according to Out.com.
• SEE ALSO: 9 Signs of LGBT Progress in 2013
Collins pays out of pocket for his slow gender transition, covering the bulk of his hormone therapy since 2011. Most insurance plans deem female-to-male top surgery “cosmetic,” and Collins’ current plan won’t cover it.
So his fraternity brothers hatched a plan. One of his new brothers, Benjamin Lindsay, a junior at Emerson, explains in this terrific piece for Out how the brothers are coming together to raise money for Collins via IndieGogo.
In a time when his options were running out, Collins’s brothers in Phi Alpha Tau have rallied together to cover some of the surgery’s cost. Find their indiegogo fund here: Brothers of A Boston Fraternity – FTM: Top Surgery. The brothers’ fund has already surpassed the $2,000 they initially hoped to donate, but now they’re looking to cover even more of the procedure’s $8,100 cost.
Collins has been completely overwhelmed by the wave of support, admitting to have cried out of gratitude when he heard what his brothers were doing. But the thought that this is a fraternity raising money for him never even crossed his mind.
“I was just like, ‘Oh that’s such a Tau thing to do,’ and I didn’t even think it was that weird,” he says. “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.’”
The brothers’ site says that they hope less to raise money with their efforts and more to spread acceptance, brotherhood, and love. “We are here… to tell a story. The story of transformation, the story of self-discovery, and the story of brotherhood.”
Since the goal has been reached ahead of the deadline, the brothers are looking to continue fundraising to cover more of the cost.
They also made this adorable video on behalf of their new brother.