A fraternity’s fundraiser to pay for a sex change for one of its members has been a huge success, pulling in donations from across the nation as the story of the unusual benefit went viral.
The fraternity at Emerson College in Boston has raised close to $20,000 for Donnie Collins, a transgender sophomore pledge seeking a female-to-make gender transition. The sex change was initially denied by the college’s insurance plan, so fraternity Phi Alpha Tau stepped in.
“It’s been an amazing experience, these last few weeks,” Collins said in a video uploaded to YouTube on Monday. “My life has been absolutely changed by pledging this fraternity.”
The fraternity launched the sex change fundraiser on February 9 on the crowd-funding site IndieGoGo.
The site read:
“We are a group of individuals brought together through our fraternity and we are here for one reason: to support the brothers of our organization. Yesterday we were informed that one of our active brothers, a transgender female to male, was denied the opportunity to receive financial support from his insurance for top surgery.
“We are now trying to raise that money for him. We are doing this as individuals in an organization rallying around another individual. This endeavor is not being sponsored by the organization as a whole, rather the active members within it.
“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.”
Since being launched, the fraternity’s sex change fundraiser has gone viral, with stories of the brothers’ supportive actions being featured on a number of LBGT news sites as well as The Huffington Post.
The excess money the fraternity raised for the sex change will go toward the Jim Collins Foundation, which provides financial assistance to transgender people for gender-confirming surgeries