Fraternity Sex Change: Brothers Raise $20K for Transgender Member

Thursday, 28 Feb 2013 04:17 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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A Boston college student will be able to afford sex change surgery to aid his transition from female to male, thanks to his fraternity brothers, who have raised close to $20,000 for the 20-year-old.

Donnie Collins, who came out as transgender before starting school at Emerson College in Boston, wants to have his breasts surgically removed, but lost hope when he realized the school's insurance policy wouldn’t cover the operation.

"For me, medical transitioning has been so important because it just removes that aspect of confusion and depression from my life," Collins, a Virginia native, told the Boston Herald. "Right now I'm wearing five layers... plus this jacket, so even when I'm casual, I'm not really casual. It's a lot to handle."

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In a touching move, Collins' Phi Alpha Tau fraternity brothers started a campaign on the fundraising site Indiegogo.com to collect money for the $8,000 surgery. They've reportedly raised close to $20,000 as of Thursday afternoon.

"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," the fraternity wrote on Indiegogo.com. "We care deeply about each and everyone, and rely on the entire active brotherhood to stand behind any one individual when they are in need."

"We see Donnie as a brother and we want to support him in this endeavor," Phi Alpha Tau President John Allen told CBS Boston.

Bucking the beer-guzzling, hazing fraternity stereotype, Phi Alpha Tau will donate the excess money to the Jim Collins Foundation, an organization that dispenses grants for gender-confirming surgery (no relation to Donnie Collins).

"I'm really just so moved by everything right now that I don’t know what to say," Collins, a screenwriting major, told the Herald.

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Collins' surgery is scheduled for May 2013. He plans to schedule a hysterectomy next.

Related stories:

Transgender Kid Banned From Colorado Restroom Prompts Civil Rights Complaint

Massachusetts Establishes Transgender Student Policies

Two States Insist on Transgender Health Coverage

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