Charlotte Hannah
February 28, 2013

Frat Raises Money to Pay for Transgender Member’s Top Surgery

Photo credit: Angela Rowlings / Boston Herald

When I think of fraternities, I think of hazing, that episode of Undergrads where Rocko tries to get into Alpha Alpha, heteronormative macho posturing and Animal House. The stereotypical picture of a frat is one of dudebros in baseball hats and Tap Out shirts who spend their days binge drinking, trying to “bang chicks,” and saying “no homo.”

But obviously stereotypes aren’t always true, and the brothers of Phi Alpha Tau at Emerson College are living proof. When these articulate, sensitive, accepting fellows found out that their trans brother, 20-year-old sophomore Donnie Collins, needed money to pay for his FTM top surgery, they stepped up and made it happen.

Collins’s college health insurance policy won’t cover the hormones he needs for his transition, so he’s been paying for them himself for more than a year – and hormones aren’t cheap. But the breast-removal surgery he needs is even more expensive – a whopping $8,100 – and Collins’s insurance won’t cover that either, as it’s deemed a “cosmetic” procedure.

So, the brothers of Phi Alpha Tau decided to use their resources and networks to help raise the money Collins needs. They created a campaign on IndieGogo, with the initial goal of raising $2,000 toward the total cost of the surgery.

We are here less to raise money, and more to tell a story. The story of transformation, and story of self-discovery, and the story of brotherhood,” says the IndieGogo page.

As of right now, they’ve raised almost $20,000. They’ve since announced that all the excess money will be donated to the Jim Collins Foundation, an organization that provides financial assistance to transgender people who require gender confirming surgeries.

Here’s Collins’s adorable thank you video. What a sweet story!